Anorexics ‘Squeeze’ to Fit Through Wide Doors

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Photo: Ron Koeberer/Corbis

The Atlantic points us to a clever study from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, which highlights just how deeply eating disorders can mess with your mind. Researchers looked at 39 people, 19 diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, 20 without, walking through doorways of various widths. People without anorexia began to rotate their bodies to fit through doorways when the doorways were 25 percent wider than their shoulders. People with anorexia started rotating their bodies when there was still plenty of clearance — 40 percent wider than their shoulders — suggesting their distorted self-image unconsciously affects their movements. We're told the reverse happens after pregnancy permanently (!) widens the gap between pubic bones two to three millimeters and you no longer know the width of your own hips.