Commentary on Phillipou et al., Anorexia Nervosa: Eating Disorder or Body Image Disorder?

Derek Larkin, Colin R Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Phillipou et al. (2017) assert that anorexia nervosa (AN) should be thought of as a body image disorder (BID), and not as it is currently categorized as an eating disorder (ED, American Psychiatric Association, 2013). They propose that the change in description may serve as a more valuable and accurate portrayal of the illness, and suggest that conceptualizing AN as an ED is too simplistic and thus misleading. Phillipou et al. (2017) examine the view that AN is somehow different from other eating disorders such as pica, rumination disorder, avoidance/restricted food intake disorder, binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa, because at its core AN is fundamentally an illness of ‘body image’. A parallel objective of Phillipou et al. (2017) is to alter the general public’s perception of AN, from one in which the public believe the AN patient is principally driven by disordered eating behaviour in order to reduce body fat, to one in which the patients’ overriding stimulus is actually body image.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-288
JournalAustralian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sep 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Sep 2017


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