Introduction: In Fitness and in Health
1 Reports on anorexia’s incidence range from
0.5 percent to 1 percent (American Psychiatric
Association 1994, 2000). However, estimates
of significant anorexic symptoms range from
5 to 10 percent among adolescent girls and
young women and run even higher on some
college campuses (Boskind-White 2000).
Richard Gordon (2000) provides convincing
evidence that anorexia’s increase in incidence
in the 1970s and 1980s is an actual increase in
the number of cases (i.e., the increase cannot
be attributed simply to a greater number of
cases being identified or diagnosed).
Apparently, anorexia has not increased in
incidence since the mid-1980s (whereas the
incidence of bulimia, a binge/purge ‘‘disor-
der,’’ may be increasing). However, anorexia’s
incidence appears to be on the rise among
preadolescent girls. For a review of literature
on these trends, see R. Gordon 2000.
2 Chapter 4 examines the institutional produc-
tion of ‘‘typical’’ (white, middle-class) an-
orexic patients and explores critically the con-
structs of race, ethnicity, and class that are
folded into patient profiles. Also, consider-
ations of sociocultural privilege infuse this
book. Note that because the vast majority of
patients diagnosed with anorexia at Walsh are
white and middle-class, I indicate individual
patients’ class status and race/ethnicity in
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