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Subtle Signs of Eating Disorders

Worried your loved one may be at risk for anorexia or bulimia? These warning signs can help you spot a problem.
anorexia-hair

Credit: Getty Images

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Fine body hair

People who have been depriving their bodies of nutrition for extended periods of time often develop soft, downy body hair—almost a thin film of fur—on their arms and other parts of the body. This hair, known as lanugo, is a physical adaptation to the perilously low weight and loss of body fat seen in some people with anorexia.

"It is a symptom of starvation and [an] attempt by the body to keep itself warm," says Bulik, the author of The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You Are.

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