Anorexia Nervosa: Description, Treatment, and Addressing

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes humans lose more weight than they need to stay healthy. This disorder is associated with a fear of being fat or eating too much, even if a person has a normal weight and eats normal food portions. The causes of anorexia are related to various biological, psychological, environmental, and cultural factors. For example, some people may develop this eating disorder because they are dissatisfied with body image, suffer from perfectionism, teasing, and bullying, or have a history of dieting (Peterson & Fuller, 2019, p. 26). It is important to address this disorder from a community health perspective because unhealthy eating behavior may have negative medical consequences and psychological comorbidity and lead to death in some cases.

Treatment for anorexia involves ongoing treatment, including psychotherapy and nutrition education. Currently, there exist no medicines to treat anorexia nervosa. Medical care involves a primary care doctor, a mental health professional, and a dietitian (Anorexia Nervosa, 2018). Family-based therapy and individual therapy are also beneficial for this disorder. Moreover, various prevention programs are available in the United States, and they focus on modifying and reducing the risks of developing eating disorders.

There are various funding and reimbursement options for anorexia nervosa treatment in the United States. One of the most popular schemes is individual private insurance. At the same time, Medicaid coverage for anorexia nervosa varies in every state, while Medicare usually does not cover nutrition therapy (Kaye & Bulik, 2021, p. 591). Moreover, private programs often refuse to fund patients with inadequate insurance and high acute condition, which leads to negative health outcomes due to the impossibility of accessing care. Nevertheless, for such patients, non-profit organizations like Manna Fund provide funding for eating disorders treatment (Manna Fund, n.d.). Still, anorexia nervosa treatment is not properly funded, which leads to a crisis of care and life-threatening disadvantages for uninsured and underinsured patients and those who have acute and severe presentations.

The government has made several steps to address eating disorder treatment. For instance, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act aimed to help improve accessibility to treating eating disorders (, n.d.). According to this act, mental health disorders do not “have greater financial requirements and treatment limitations than physical illnesses do,” meaning that physical and mental disorders should be treated equally. (Sharma & Branscum, 2020, p. 27). The 21st Century Cures Act was invented to aid people with eating disorders (FDA, 2020). However, the situation with anorexia treatment and prevention in the United States is still sad as many policymakers underestimate this disorder.

I believe that the community and public health services available for anorexia nervosa treatment are effective, but they need to be reconsidered and changed on a governmental level. For example, eating disorders treatment receives little funding compared with other mental health disorders (Kaye & Bulik, 2021, p. 592). If the government increased funding and reimbursement, more people would receive care, and the whole community would benefit.

Moreover, educational resources about this disorder should be available for all community members. Suppose people are aware of the potential risks of developing an eating disorder and the early signs of the disease. In that case, they will have more chances to prevent and detect anorexia nervosa. In conclusion, the government should develop obligatory standards of care, addressing different types of treatment, training, and reimbursement. Medical organizations should not reject uninsured people with acute conditions. The government should create a special funding program for such cases. Eating disorders may be as severe as other mental disorders, and if this issue is not addressed properly, the consequences will be painful for all.


Anorexia Nervosa. (2018). Mayo Clinic. Web. (n.d.). The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). Web.

FDA. (2020). 21st Century Cures Act. Web.

Kaye, W. H., & Bulik, C. M. (2021). Treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa in the US – A crisis in care. JAMA Psychiatry, 78(6), 591-592. Web.

Manna Fund. (n.d.). Web.

Peterson, K., & Fuller, R. (2019). Anorexia nervosa in adolescents: An overview. Nursing, 49(10), 24-30. Web.

Sharma, M., & Branscum, P. W. (2020). Introduction to community and public health (2nd ed.). Wiley.

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PsychologyWriting. (2023) 'Anorexia Nervosa: Description, Treatment, and Addressing'. 5 September.


PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Anorexia Nervosa: Description, Treatment, and Addressing." September 5, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Anorexia Nervosa: Description, Treatment, and Addressing." September 5, 2023.