Humans distort the image of their own bodies in their minds, recent research has suggested.
Conducted at University College London, the study looked at the way in which people perceived the shape of their own hands.
The results showed that participants had a strong tendency to think that their hands were shorter and fatter than they really were.
Emma Healey, chief operating officer from eating disorder charity beat, explained the significance of the research for those struggling with eating disorders.
"This piece of research is helpful in identifying another piece of the puzzle and may help families and sufferers themselves understand that it is not their or their loved one's fault if they develop an eating disorder."
She added: "The first step is admitting to yourself that you have a problem and you need help and then knowing where you should go to get that help and support.
"For a carer, it is getting as much information they can so that they understand the illness better and know where someone can go for help and support."