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What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

What Is Anorexia Nervosa? Featured article written for the TC Nutrition blog by Emily Green.

TC Nutrition is an online clinic of specialist eating disorder dietitians, founded by Talia Cecchele RD. They help clients through eating disorder recovery, overcome disordered eating and challenge fear foods. I spent 8 months interning for Talia and you can see some of my work on the website.

Read the full blog post here at to learn about anorexia nervosa.

In the article I cover the following areas:

  • Diagnostic criteria of anorexia nervosa

  • How common is anorexia nervosa?

  • Who does anorexia nervosa affect?

  • What are the causes of anorexia nervosa?

  • Treatment options for anorexia nervosa

  • Working with an eating disorder dietitian

Would it surprise you to learn that anorexia nervosa it not the most common eating disorder?
In fact it only accounts for approximately 10% of eating disorder diagnoses.
What is anorexia nervosa
Excerpt from

Anorexia nervosa may be the eating disorder you have heard of most as it is often the eating disorder portrayed in films and media. It is a debilitating and dangerous restrictive eating disorder characterised by low energy intake, significantly low body weight and an intense fear of weight gain.

The warning signs of anorexia nervosa can be similar to other eating disorders of disordered eating.

These red flags often show up in behavioural, emotional and psychological ways.

Red Flags of Anorexia Nervosa


  • Avoiding eating with or in front of others

  • Rituals and rules about eating

  • Overexercising

  • Daily self-weighing


  • Anxiety or depression

  • Social withdrawal

  • Irritable mood or mood swings


  • Rigid, black and white thinking

  • Obsessive thoughts about food and eating

  • Perfectionism

If you spot any of these signs of anorexia nervosa in yourself or a loved one, reach out for support from your GP, a registered dietitian or counsellor.

Can anorexia nervosa be treated?

Recovery is a long and challenging road but it is so so worth it. You'll be hard pushed to find a single soul who regrets taking the journey to eating disorder recovery.

There are several treatment options which I cover in the blog for TC Nutrition, so it's important to find one which works for you and a practitioner who you connect with.

Research into severe and enduring anorexia nervosa is ever evolving and there are case studies of even people with the long-suffering eating disorders reaching recovery!


Thank you for taking the time to check out this blog post. I also discuss these warning signs in detail here in 12 Signs You May Need To Work On Your Relationship With Food.

Nutrition Upon Tyne



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