Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Oct;185:312-7.

Anorexia nervosa among female secondary school students in Ghana.

Author information

1
South East Scotland Deanery, Edinburgh. Dinah.Bennett@lpct.scot.nhs.uk

Abstract

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.

PMID:
15458991
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.185.4.312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center