The Atlantic

A Strange New Culprit Behind Eating Disorders

Common infections such as strep throat might have a mysterious link to anorexia and bulimia.
Source: GBALLGIGGSPHOTO / Shutterstock

In 2007, Carlo Carandang, then an attending physician at a hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, saw a most unusual patient: an 8-year-old boy who had recently adopted some strange beliefs, all while losing 18 pounds. The boy thought that nurses were “evil,” and that he could inject other people with his fat cells simply by walking past them.

The boy’s symptoms had begun a few months prior. After his school held a lesson on healthy eating, he started to scrutinize food labels and avoid fat and carbs, according to Carandang, who now works . The boy worried that he was too fat, and he would examine his stomach in the mirror throughout the day. He grew suspicious of what his mother might be putting in his food and began

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