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The Diana Effect provides a compelling case study of how cultural influences can elevate
general public and clinical awareness around a particular issue-in this case, the eating disorder
(ED) bulimia nervosa (BN) in the United Kingdom between 1988 and 2000-particularly between
1992 to 1997. Evidence ofthe Diana Effect are witnessed in an unprecedented (and since
unrepeated) trifold rise in the rate of reported bulimia incidences in the UK, significantly paralleling
the trajectory of Princess Diana’s relationship with the public surrounding her personal battle with
bulimia. Moreover, the surge in rate of bulimia incidences in the UK peaked in 1996, declining each
year following 1997, the year in which Princess Diana died.
By publically sharing her private struggle and recovery process with bulimia nervosa,
Princess Diana provided a personal narrative for a disorder previously reserved primarily to
diagnostic deliberations and clinical analysis; she served as a source of support and advocacy for
many sufferers who sought help. Particularly in the UK where it was most publicized, Prince…