Objective: The aim of article is to present the changing views on anorexia nervosa, especially in 20th century.
Views: Anorexia nervosa is a mental disorder widespread in the Western culture from ancient times at least. However, it has not always been regarded as a mental disorder. A considerable progress in the diagnosis of anorexia dates back to the 17th century. In the 20th century detailed diagnostic criteria and effective therapies were developed.
Conclusions: The development of knowledge and treatment methods is associated with many changes in the understanding and treatment of anorexia nervosa. The changes pertain to: the importance of collaboration between patients, doctors and therapists; increased awareness of the patient: subjective and objective problems; multimodal interventions; helping the whole family; better understanding of eating disorders by general practitioners, paediatricians and psychiatrists.