Anorexia Nervosa is a very serious diagnosis given when a person has significantly restricted food intake, resulting in weight loss over time, often accompanied by preoccupation with weight and shape and extreme fear of weight gain. As a result of poor nourishment a person with Anorexia Nervosa is often seriously compromised in many areas of their life, including physical and mental health, and social and emotional wellbeing.
'Atypical' Anorexia Nervosa
Not all people with a diagnosis or Anorexia Nervosa are in the stereotypically very low weight range. A diagnosis of Atypical Anorexia Nervosa is used when someone meets all of the behavioural and psychological criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, but they are not in a very low weight range. Recent research suggests that Atypical Anorexia Nervosa may in fact be more common than the 'typical' version of the disorder, and that due to a lack of recognition many people with this illness may not be accessing appropriate treatment.
More information is available from the National Eating Disorders Collaboration.