Research from Griffith University has found a link between adolescent anorexia and ‘perfectionist’ thinking.
Kim Hurst from the Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology said young women’s obsession with meeting high standards can play a major role in the development of anorexia.
Ms Hurst said adolescent girls were at the highest risk of developing the eating disorder between the ages of 13 and 18.
“It is the third most common chronic disease for young women between 15 and 24 years old,” she said.
“After treatment the majority of patients are still left with residual symptoms which maintain the risk of relapse or lead to a protracted illness duration.”
The National Eating Disorder Collaboration said only 46 per cent of patients fully recover from anorexia.
Ms Hurst said she hoped the study would help to reduce the perfectionist thinking patterns and prevent relapses for anorexia sufferers.
“In adulthood, anorexia is much more difficult to recover from, whereas if adolescents seek treatment early, recovery is possible,” she said.
The Department of Health and Ageing said women with anorexia are up to 12 mores likely to die prematurely.