Before 1980, the illness bulimia just did not exist – at least in the eyes of the medical profession. However, doctors involved in the study of eating disorders had noticed that there were significant numbers of people who confessed to regularly and secretly eating large quantities of food in a short period of time. Unable to stop eating when physically full, they would attempt to control their weight (especially after bingeing) by self induced vomiting, by dietary restraint and/or by using laxatives. Most of them were repulsed by their own behaviour and were aware that it could not be normal.


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