Preoccupation with weight loss and body image
Someone with anorexia nervosa will often be consumed with thoughts about losing weight, body size, and body image. They may buy books and magazines related to weight loss and dieting or subscribe to numerous websites dedicated to helping people lose weight. Although an interest in weight loss is not necessarily an indicator of anorexia nervosa, it can be a sign when taken into context with other factors, such as an underweight appearance or an unhealthy obsession with calories, and so on.
Development of lanugo
Lanugo refers to soft, fine hairs which grow over the face and body. Lanugo is believed to develop in cases when people suffering from anorexia nervosa are deficient in daily nutrients and maintain a low body weight which makes it necessary for the body to generate hair as a protective covering.
Obsession with fat, calories and “bad” foods
It may be normal for someone who is losing weight to become healthier to have an interest in calories, fat and carbohydrates—but someone with anorexia nervosa will take this interest to an obsession. Obsessively counting calories—such as counting calories in pieces of gum or hard candy—and avoiding any food with a trace of fat in it may be an indicator of a larger problem.
Purging behavior refers to using methods to rid the body of food or calories. These methods include self-induced vomiting, ingesting laxatives or water pills, as well as obsessively exercising off calories that were just consumed. Someone with anorexia nervosa, especially the binge/purge type of anorexia nervosa, may resort to purging behaviors to rid themselves of food, especially after normal meals with family or friends that are considered unhealthy or fattening.