Mother of a three-year-old weighs 17 kgs at 25

Eating Disorders describe illnesses that are characterised by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape. Eating disturbances may include inadequate or excessive food intake which can ultimately damage an individual’s well-being. Similarly, a non-residential Indian (NRI) who is getting treated in Mumbai has come up with a shocking case for city experts. She is a 25-year-old mother weighing just 17 kgs!


Losing weight in a hurry is everyone’s dream of getting that perfect bod. However, it could turn into a nightmare if it’s the only thing one obsesses about.

For this NRI from Africa, getting treated in Mumbai presented a shocking case for city experts. She is a 25-year-old mother weighing just 17 kgs suffering from Anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa or anorexia is an eating disorder that can be simply explained as being characterised by an abnormal perception of being over-weight even when that is not true. It is further clubbed with an intense fear of gaining weight as a result of one’s own perception of their body weight and appearance.

Many celebrities and models like Lady Gaga, Kesha, Demi Lovato, Christina Ricci, from the west have come out in the open to say they suffered this ailment.


Zubaida Khan (name changed to maintain confidentiality) flew down to India from Africa owing to her deteriorating health. Khan is a 25-year-old housewife and a mother of a 3-year-old boy. Her liver has been badly deranged; she hasn’t got her menses since the baby was born owing to her failing ovaries and increasing or uncontrolled levels of thyroid secretions. All of these are a result of anorexia.

“She weighed 17 kgs when she visited us on December 28. She was highly anorexic. We do see anorexia in women at least ten times more than men. Secondly, it’s commonly seen amongst the celebrities and the models.  But, her case is shocking! Now, she is admitted,” said Dr Priyanka Mahajan, psychiatrist at Masina Hospital.

Unfortunately, her three-year-old boy exhibits certain medical complications. “The kid has irritability and behavioural issues. She weighed 35 kgs when she was pregnant. But her condition precipitated after pregnancy,” added Dr Mahajan.

Post Khan’s pregnancy, she started feeling that she would put on more weight. Hence from her seventh month of pregnancy, she completely stopped eating food.

“She just stopped eating completely. So severely ill she was that she can’t even walk now. Her body has given up,” added Dr Mahajan.

Currently, she is taking treatment alongside cognitive behavioral therapy and intensive counseling by experts.  “We ask such patients to maintain a food diary to address cognitive distortion.”