Views & Reviews Medical Classics

4st 7lbs

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5365
  1. Stuart Flanagan, specialty doctor in genitourinary medicine, NHS Camden, London, and resident doctor, BBC Radio 1’s Surgery programme
  1. stuartf1{at}

This song from the Manic Street Preachers’ 1994 album The Holy Bible is an uncompromising account of life with anorexia nervosa, with lyrics written by the band’s guitarist, Richey Edwards.

Edwards remains one of rock music’s most enigmatic characters. He was beset by numerous mental health problems, including depression, anorexia nervosa, and self harming, but was gifted with a searing intelligence that allowed him to articulate his troubles with a heartfelt eloquence.

In “4st 7lbs” Edwards details his own experiences with anorexia. This is no cry for help. Uniquely, it is a window into the mind …

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