A few weeks ago, a story I worked on for six months finally hit print: “‘You don’t look anorexic.'” It’s about the often overlooked, under-diagnosed and under-treated illness of atypical anorexia nervosa. Studies suggest it may actually be three times as common as its more well-known sibling, anorexia nervosa. The only difference is that sufferers are not in emaciated bodies, but they experience the same physical and mental symptoms.
I’m still processing all of the remarkable feedback I received, ranging from people sharing their own stories of heartbreaking suffering to critics infuriated by having their assumptions challenged. I am heartened to hear that one of my sources from the story is now consulting on how to make eating disorder treatment centers more supportive for people in larger bodies. Readers have told me they are bringing the story to doctor’s offices and even meetings with elected officials, trying to secure legislation to create meaningful change in health care settings.
If you are interested in reading the story, here is a link that will allow you to read it in The New York Times Magazine online.