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Eating disorders 

Eating disorders

Chapter:
Eating disorders
Author(s):

Christopher G. Fairburn

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.260506

November 28, 2012: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 26 May 2017

Eating disorders affect about 5% of adolescent girls and young adult women. They are much less common among men. They typically begin in adolescence and may run a chronic course, interfering with psychological, physical, and social functioning.

Three eating disorders are distinguished: (1) anorexia nervosa; (2) bulimia nervosa; and (3) a residual diagnostic category—the most common seen in routine clinical practice— termed ‘eating disorder not otherwise specified’ (eating disorder NOS). They all share a distinctive ‘core psychopathology’, the overevaluation of shape and weight, and patients frequently move between the categories, hence a case may be made for adopting a ‘transdiagnostic’ perspective....

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