Anorexia (anorexia nervosa)
40% of newly reported cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old. Many anorexics come from educated, middle-class families and strive to succeed, including having the perfect body. They have an extreme fear of weight gain and a distorted view of their body. They see themselves as fat despite being grossly underweight.
Anorexics restrict their food intake significantly and usually exercise excessively to burn calories. They go to such an extreme that they become severely undernourished; finally achieving a body weight of 70 pounds or less.
Anorexia means "lack of appetite"; however, anorexics do not lose the urge to eat. In fact, images of favorite foods may haunt them constantly. Control is a key issue for the person with anorexia.
Bulimia (bulimia nervosa)
Bulimia affects mostly young females in their teens and early 20s. Most bulimics are brighter than usual and are at their ideal weight.
Bulimia is a disorder characterized by episodes of secretive bingeing (excessive eating) followed by purging (self-induced vomiting) or by using laxatives or enemas. Most bulimics realize their behavior is abnormal but they are too embarrassed to seek help.
The foods chosen for binges vary, but typically they are "forbidden" sweets or starches. Severe bulimics can have as many as ten binges a day, up to 5,000 calories each.