A paper published in the latest issue of the esteemed open-access journal PLoS ONE suggests that anorexia nervosa does not impair patients' ability to accurately gage the bodies of others. Instead, this capability is only affected when it comes to sufferers' perception of their own body images.
The research, by experts at the University Hospital of Lille, in France, covers an eating disorder that can easily kill, if left untreated. People suffering from anorexia nervosa are paralyzed by the fear of gaining too much weight, and impose draconian food restriction onto themselves.
UHL scientists believe that this skewed perception of one's own body endures in the brain because the latter perceives sizes in the environment relative to the dimensions of the body. When the size of the body is not updated, the brain perceives it as being large.
Despite not eating, sufferers cannot realize that they are stick-thin, and continue not realizing this until they die, PsychCentral