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Introduction to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistics Manual) Eating Disorders Chapter

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The Eating Disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior. This section includes two specific diagnoses, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications; fasting; or excessive exercise. A disturbance in perception of body shape and weight is an essential feature of both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. An Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified category is also provided for coding disorders that do not meet criteria for a specific Eating Disorder.

Simple obesity is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) as a general medical condition, but does not appear in DSM-IV because it has not been established that it is consistently associated with a psychological or behavioral syndrome. However, when there is evidence that psychological factors are of importance in the etiology or course of a particular case of obesity, this can be indicated by noting the presence of Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition (p. 675).

Disorders of Feeding and Eating that are usually first diagnosed in infancy or early childhood (i.e., Pica, Rumination Disorder, and Feeding Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood) are included in the section "Feeding and Eating Disorders of Infancy or Early Childhood" (p. 94).

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