Anorexia nervosa (say "an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh") is an eating disorder that causes a person to eat very little because of an intense fear of gaining weight. People who have it severely restrict their food intake and can become dangerously thin. If it goes on for a long time, it can cause serious health problems or even death.
People who have anorexia often don't see or believe that they have a problem. It is usually up to their loved ones to get help for them. Early treatment is important. The longer this problem goes on, the harder it is to overcome.