Eating disorders are like ghosts haunting many young women in big cities in China. Many patients even have kept their disease secret from their families for years.
The pursuit for slimness might very probably bring anorexia nervosa, the first eating disorder, and the more fatal one, which causes the patient to starve herself/himself. This disease is pathetically more common among females than males (about 1:9.5), as the abnormal social appreciation of beauty has a much stronger impact on them. A survey also finds that most of patients are from rich families, thus malnutrition should never be blamed as a cause, but a result. In some cases of anorexia, in addition to restricting their food intake, patients use purging - by vomiting or taking laxatives - to control their weight. The incidence of anorexia is very high nowadays. A girl in Guangdong even managed to cut her weight to less than 30 kg by drinking only half glass of milk daily.
The second is, which is characterized by habitual eating and purging, and the patient usually experience no excessive weight losses, thus this disease is much more difficult for doctors and family members to detect. However, as both anorexia and bulimia nervosa are resultant from over-dieting, compulsive exercises can usually be found with both cases. There are also many bulimia nervosa patients who get the disease through excessive social pressures.
(Chinanews.cn October 23, 2006)