The literature concerned with anorexia nervosa is reviewed. The picture of a distinct, psychogenic syndrome emerges with a phobia about weight gain and preoccupation with eating. The illness occurs in young people and may take an obsessional or hysterical form. Treatment, in the first instance, consists of restoring calorific deficiency and body weight and attempting to prevent relapses. In this the nurse has a major role to play in supportive psychotherapy.