Social welfare: Morality and anorexia nervosa

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


This chapter discusses the concept of morality which may influence the conceptualization and implementation of anorexia nervosa under the umbrella of social welfare. Anorexia nervosa is not a silly obsession with becoming slim or a misguided wish to be beautiful. This eating disorder involves a drastic reduction in food intake and an unhealthy loss of weight (Sarafino, 1990). From a philosophical view, such starvation can be interpreted as something different or even a superior act (Welton, 1998). This chapter provides a review of anorexia nervosa and examines how the relationship between morality and social welfare will affect the conceptualization of anorexia nervosa. Specifically, it focuses on the aspects of preference and needs of morality. The chapter ends with a discussion that preference seems in tune with the liberal spirit of the modern age because it tends to see human agents as autonomous bodies; the concept of needs will be classified as occasional needs and basic needs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Issues in Chinese Contexts
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781536112238
ISBN (Print)9781608767236
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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