Anorexia nervosa essentially is self-starvation. Vomiting and abuse of laxatives, diuretics or exercise may be additional elements in an anorexic person’s effort to control weight. Bulimia nervosa involves, “binge eating and purging.” Which is consuming large, high-calorie meals and vomiting and/or taking laxatives in an attempt to expel the food before it can be absorbed by the body. Anorexia and bulimia are much less prevalent than obesity, which is the number one eating disorder among adolescents and adults. However, the incidence of anorexia and bulimia is rising among teenage girls and young women. Up to 1 per cent of girls between 13 and 17 develop anorexia nervosa. Bulimia is more common among a slighter older age group, occurring in 2 per cent to 4 per cent of women in their late teens and twenties. Males can develop either disorder. But females, generally more conscious about weight and fashion, are many times more vulnerable. There is no single explanation for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa —or how these eating disorders may go unnoticed.