Eating Disorders: serious and maladaptive disturbances in eating behavior. Can include extreme reduction of food intake, severe bouts of overeating, and obsessive concerns about body shape or weight. (Hockenbury, 311) Central feature is self-imposed starvation, which frequently starts with a slimming diet and occasionally ends with … death. (OxfordMind, 579) Eating disorders are common and have high "heritability." (Lewis, 152)

Anorexia Nervosa: active self-starvation or a sustained loss of appetite that has psychological origins. (Coon) Characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior. (Hockenbury, 310) Has the highest risk of death of any (behavioral) disorder - 15 to 21%. (Lewis, 151) Sufferers starve themselves, exercise excessively and still think they are too fat, even when their bones jut out from their skin. Typically develops around puberty. An estimated 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent of women develop this disorder in their lifetime. Most deadly of eating disorders. Sufferers register hunger, cold, heat and even pain poorly. Women often stop "menstruating," and men experience impotence. Other consequences include low "blood pressure," a variety of skin problems and fluid retention. (SAM Apl/May07, 32)

Bulimia Nervosa: excessive eating usually followed by self-induced vomiting and/or taking laxatives. (Coon) Characterized by binges of extreme overeating followed by self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives to purge the excessive food and prevent weight gain. (Hockenbury, 310) Patients fluctuate between two extremes – starvation and binging. During binge phases, bulimics stuff themselves with calorie-rich food. Afterward, they feel shame and either regurgitate what they have just eaten or abuse diuretics or laxatives as compensation. Experienced by 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women in their lifetime. Typically appears between the ages of 18 and 35. Stomach acid in their vomit erodes their teeth and harms cells in the "esophagus," which can lead to "cancer." Electrolyte imbalances–a result of dehydration and "potassium" and "sodium" depletion - can cause "organ" damage and "cardiovascular" problems, including "heart attacks." Despite these problems bulimia nervosa often goes unnoticed, even by medical professionals. Linked to a faulty “body image.” (SAM Apl/May07, 33)

Muscle Dysmorphia: person sees himself as too small. Takes amino acid supplements to 'bulk up.' (Lewis, 152)