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The worrying world of eating disorder wannabes

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 06 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:516
  1. Deborah Cohen, features editor, BMJ
  1. dcohen{at}

    I first heard about “wannarexia” while sitting on the bus. A group of teenage girls on their way into central London to go shopping were dissecting each of their classmates. One girl in particular received marked censure. “She's such a wannarexic,” said one. The others all agreed. Forced to admit that I was out of the loop with teen jargon I turned to the internet, the bible of youth trends.

    Wannarexia is a pejorative term and, says Urban Dictionary (, is “an imaginary disease most commonly found amongst preteen to teenage, overweight females who claim to have the eating disorder anorexia, …

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