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February 12, 1997

My Life as a Male Anorexic

Author Affiliations

University of South Dakota School of Medicine Sioux Falls

JAMA. 1997;277(6):501. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540300069040

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The first two thirds of My Life as a Male Anorexic consists of Michael Krasnow's autobiography. There follows a short chapter by one of his treating psychiatrists with footnotes by the author to statements that the psychiatrist has made about him. The last part of the book comprises eight discharge summaries from various hospitalizations of Mr Krasnow in 1988 and 1989.

The book begins with Krasnow describing, as he remembers it, the onset of his anorexia nervosa. As one reads along, it becomes apparent that he is still very ill with his disorder. He writes of controlling his weight at 75 pounds (he is 5 feet 9 inches tall). In an epilogue he gives a daily summary of his food intake, stating that he never eats more than a self-imposed limit of 1000 calories a day. He also states that he has not taken a drink of water since February

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