25 Years Later: Research Study Into Anorexia and Bulimia

In 1987, Dr. David Herzog at Massachusetts General Hospital started a research study called the “Longitudinal Study of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.” The 246 women participating in the study received treatment including psychotherapy, medical monitoring, and nutritional counseling. They were interviewed regularly about eating habits, health, school, work, and social activities. The majority improved, but there were relapses along the way. Women who recovered attribute their success to children, pets, and careers. Ten of the 136 anorexic women who did not improve died from suicide in the first eleven years. These unfortunate women experienced social isolation and inconsistent employment. A quarter century later, Dr. Herzog is conducting follow-up interviews with the participants.

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