Our expert says:
If your friend is 1.75 m tall and weighs 60 kg, then her present BMI = 19,6, which is in the underweight category. She certainly should not lose more weight and actually should gain about 5-7 kg to be at her ideal weight. From what you say, it does sound as if your friend is showing signs of an eating disorder (obsessive ideas about her weight even if she is underweight; unrealistic body image, where she thinks she is 'huge', when she is already very thin, and now this bulimic behaviour of eating over weekends and then purging herself with laxatives to prevent weight gain). If she is open to talking about her obsessions, then do suggest that she should consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area) and a clinical psychologist (the dietitian should be able to refer her). Eating disorders need to be treated by a team approach to get the patient back to eating a healthy diet and to help them sort out what is driving them to self destruct. If you are in Gauteng then it may help if she contacts Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs she can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on: www.riverviewmanor.co.za
Try to persuade her to go for expert help ASAP.
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