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17 February 2011

Anorexics draw distorted images of themselves

The way women draw themselves may help reveal whether they have an eating disorder, researchers suggest. They found that women with anorexia or bulimia draw themselves with different characteristics than women without eating disorders.

The way women draw themselves may help reveal whether they have an eating disorder, researchers suggest. They found that women with anorexia or bulimia draw themselves with different characteristics than women without eating disorders.

  • Women with anorexia or bulimia tended to portray themselves with a larger neck, a disconnected neck or no neck.
  • The mouth was more emphasised by women with anorexia or bulimia.
  • Depictions of wider thighs were more common among participants with eating disorders.
  • Women with anorexia or bulimia tended to draw pictures without feet or with disconnected feet.

The study, published in the Arts in Psychotherapy, shows "that women suffering or prone to developing eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, can be diagnosed with a simple and non-intrusive self-figure drawing assessment," said co-author Rachel Lev-Wiesel, head of the Graduate School of Creative Art Therapies at the University of Haifa.

 
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