Anorexic girls feel 'too fat to fit through a doorway'

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Anorexics have such a distorted body image that they squeeze through doorways even when they don't have to, researchers found.

Young women with the eating disorder turned side-on to get through a gap when it was 40 per cent wider than their shoulders.

But healthy women only began to do so when the space was much narrower.

Researchers at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands said their finding suggests the disease's effects on the mind run deeper than previously thought.

They asked 39 young women to walk through a gap between two panels, which was made wider and narrower.

The women, half of whom had anorexia, were told they were taking part in a memory test to stop them thinking too much about the size of the space.

The healthy women only felt the need to squeeze through when the wriggle-room was cut to 25 per cent, the journal PLoS ONE reports, compared with 40 per cent for those with the eating disorder.

Research has long shown that anorexics believe themselves to be fatter than they actually are.

But the new study is the first to show that this belief affects the way they move - a decision that is largely made unconsciously.

- Daily Mail

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