Anorexia Home > Warning Signs of Anorexia

Common symptoms of anorexia include an obsession with food or rituals around the preparation and eating of food. Other anorexia warning signs include dressing in layers to disguise weight loss or becoming secretive and isolated. Of all the warning signs, extreme weight loss is the most obvious. If you see the signs of anorexia in someone, encourage this person to see a doctor.

Warning Signs of Anorexia: An Overview

The most obvious warning sign of anorexia is extreme weight loss. However, because of the secretive habits of many individuals with anorexia, other warning signs may be harder to see. This is why many people with anorexia have their conditions go undiagnosed for a long time.
Family members and friends might notice some of anorexia's warning signs.

Specific Anorexia Warning Signs

Specific warning signs of this eating disorder in a person can include the following:
  • Eating only "safe" foods, usually those low in calories and fat
  • Having odd rituals, such as cutting food into small pieces
  • Spending more time playing with food than eating it
  • Cooking meals for others without eating
  • Engaging in compulsive exercising
  • Dressing in layers to hide weight loss
  • Spending less time with family and friends, becoming more isolated, withdrawn, and secretive.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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