Do anorexia patients feel 50% fatter than they really are?
In my research, we had anorexia patients walk through adjustable doorways. We measured when participants rotated their body whilst walking through the doorways. The outcome was interesting. On average, anorexia patients unconsciously turned sideways when the openings were 40% wider than their own bodies. Healthy people only turned their bodies when the openings were less than 25% wider. Variation in the patient group shows that some patients even turned their bodies when approaching still wider gateways, e.g. of 50 or 60% wider than their real body size. So yes, to my opinion, it is possible that anorexia patients feel that they are 50% fatter than they actually are. To be honest though, I think it is not crucial that we can measure the exact percentage of how fat an anorexia patient feels. It is far more important to understand how it is possible that these patients perceive their body size so different from their actual size and especially how we can treat this problem most efficiently.