Viewed from an evolutionary perspective, individuals and their families need not shoulder the blame for anorexia nervosa. Rather, understanding the challenging biological changes can help families and clinicians work together to beat it. The patient and family guide is available for free download.
Anorexia nervosa is commonly attributed to psychological conflicts, attempts to be fashionably slender, neuroendocrine dysfunction, or some combination of these factors. Considerable research reveals these theories to be incomplete. This article presents evidence that anorexia is an evolved genetic response to times of famine.