In March of this year, a 15-year-old girl from Guangdong province died from severe malnutrition after going on a strict diet to lose weight.
According to her father, the teenage girl, known under the assumed name Xiaoling, had not consumed any food for nearly 50 days except for water. She was 165 cm tall and weighed only 24.8 kg.
"She was so light. It was almost like I was picking up a quilt," said a doctor at Shenzhen Children's Hospital, who was shocked at her weight when lifting her up for a brain CT scan after she was transferred to the hospital. Xiaoling, at her heaviest, used to weigh 52 kg when she was in the sixth grade at primary school, according to her mother. However, she became self-conscious about her weight after entering junior high school and rejected any food containing oil.
The change came after Xiaoling found out that a girl who attracted the boy she had a crush on was slimmer than her, according to her classmates.
Determined to lose weight, Xiaoling began cutting out all her staple foods, including rice, before she went to the extreme of forsaking solid food altogether.
After going on the unsustainable diet for one year and three months, she stopped having menstruation and was taken to the hospital by her parents. She was later diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes you obsess about your weight and food. If you have this problem, you may have a warped body image, seeing yourself as fat even though you have a very low body weight.
This problem affects more women than men and often starts during the teenage years. The number of young women between the ages of 15 to 19 who have anorexia nervosa has increased every 10 years since 1930.
The tragedy of Xiaoling gave rise to the discussion of body anxiety, which has sparked heated debate on the Internet.
Pressure to conform to a certain definition of "beautiful" can have psychological effects, such as depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem, which can start from an adolescent age and continue into adulthood.
来源：潮新闻·钱江晚报 深圳卫健委 深圳广电 中广天择 深圳市儿童医院 陇原健康 约翰霍普金斯医学院
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