The relationship between anorexia nervosa (AN) and sociocultural factors is examined. Anorexia nervosa was first described in the West and was reported as particularly rare or absent in Eastern cultures. However, the frequency of its presentation has increased worldwide over the past two decades, probably as a consequence of changes in cultural norms and concepts of feminine beauty and an increasing inflow of Western values into other countries. Sociocultural factors are important in the development of AN in psychologically vulnerable young females, although other factors may also be implicated.

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