The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.

Letter to the editor

Editor, – Dr Phillipa Hay's excellent article on eating disorders (Aust Prescr 1998;21:100-3) states that anorexia nervosa 'occurs world wide'. Is there any evidence that these disorders also occur in under-privileged populations such as those in Africa, for example, or in those cultures where the body weight of women and dieting are not a big issue.

Mannasseh Phiri
General Practitioner
Kitwe, Zambia

Author's comments

Dr P. Hay, the author of the article, comments:

Dr Phiri has raised an important issue. Eating disorders do occur world wide, but they are much more prevalent in Western cultures. Elegant studies in the U.K. and Pakistan,1 as well as other empirical research, attest to this.


  1. Mumford DM, Whitehouse AM, Choudry IY. Survey of eating disorders in English-Medium schools in Lahore, Pakistan. Int J Eat Disord 1992;11:173-84.