According to the Society of Nutritional Medicine and Dietetics, before eating anorexia (anorexia nervosa) manifests itself, the eating behavior can give the relative a decisive indication of the expected evil. Anorexics eat almost 400 kilocalories less two years before the onset of the disease - an average of 230 kcal a day. The better the chances of the success of the therapy, the sooner the disease is recognized.
The shared lunch promotes family and food culture
The common lunch in the family circle is today, for reasons of time, less well maintained than before. Eating together is the expression of a family culture with the function of communication and information exchange among family members.
Attentive observation at the common dining table could detect conspicuous eating habits and help the affected person at an early stage before their physical and emotional health is endangered.
Which behavior is noticeable?
When adolescents pay close attention to the fat content of foods, eat conspicuously slowly, and constantly control their food intake, the alarm bells ring with parents and friends.
Most of those affected are under 25 years old. They are often very introverted, reliable, conscientious and helpful young people with high intelligence and excellent school performance. Anorexia usually arises during puberty. Therefore, it is believed that those affected have difficulty finding their gender identity and thus growing up.
For many patients, trying to exercise control over their body weight seems to convey a sense of security. Body weight becomes an important source of self-esteem.
Being slim as a beauty ideal
Another factor is the social ideal of beauty. In Western societies, since the 1960s, a very slim body has been considered attractive. The social pressure to be thin is undoubtedly imposed by the media. Women's magazines, television and advertising promote the emergence of questionable idols and force adaptation in the fields of fashion, beauty and eroticism.
Young women undergo physical changes during puberty, may become "fuller" and more feminine. While they first have to develop a feeling for their "new" body, they can be greatly unsettled by this exaggerated slimming ideal.
Lack of disease awareness complicates the therapy
Anorectics lack any disease awareness, making therapeutic intervention difficult. Consequences of malnutrition are endocrinological and physical complications. The functions of the metabolism, heart and circulatory system as well as the kidneys can be impaired. Moreover, disturbances in the water and electrolyte balance as well as in the blood picture in addition to general weakness are the consequences of anorexia.
The treatment of anorexic patients includes, in addition to psychotherapeutic treatment, the achievement of normal eating habits and the normalization of body weight.