Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: We set out to determine whether anorexia nervosa exists in a culture where the pressure to be thin is less pervasive. AIMS: To determine whether there were any cases of anorexia nervosa in female students attending two secondary schools in the north-east region of Ghana. METHOD: The body mass index (BMI) of consenting students was calculated after measuring their height and weight. Those with a BMI </=19 kg/m(2) underwent a structured clinical assessment including mental state, physical examination and completion of the Eating Attitudes Test and the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh. Participants nominated a best friend to serve as a comparison group, and these young women under went the same assessments. RESULTS: Of the 668 students who were screened for BMI, 10 with a BMI <17.5 kg/m(2) appeared to have self-starvation as the only cause of their low weight. All 10 viewed their food restriction positively and in religious terms. The beliefs of these individuals included ideas of self-control and denial of hunger, without the typical anorexic concerns about weight or shape. CONCLUSIONS: Morbid self-starvation may be the core feature of anorexia nervosa, with the attribution for the self-starvation behaviour varying between cultures


Journal article



Publication Date





312 - 317


anorexia, assessment, attitude, attitudes, attribution, behaviour, belief, beliefs, case, CLINICAL, concerns, culture, denial, examination, Female, group, individual, physical, Physical Examination, school, Scotland, secondary, Students, test, WHO, Women