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September 13, 2010

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Woman sentenced five months for theft

A UNIVERSITY student with an eating disorder was sentenced to five months in jail for theft, Songjiang District People's Court said yesterday.

Li Er, 23, wanted to lose weight so badly that she started to induce vomiting after eating. Because of this she felt hungry all the time and she soon spent all her money on snacks.

She stole money and valuables, including a cell phone, worth a combined 3,000 yuan (US$443.1) from classmates to feed her snack habit, the court heard.

Li was an excellent student from primary school through high school. But things changed when she entered a top university in Shanghai. Li found she no longer stood out from others, which made her unhappy, the court heard.

She started her plan to lose weight to gain attention from friends and classmates after she learned they were interested in losing weight.

After eating meals, she ran to the bathroom to vomit. She started to eat snacks because she always felt hungry. She would also vomit after eating snacks.

Two months later, she became very slim. This attracted the attention of other students and some even consulted Li about how to lose weight, which made her determined to continue.

Her abnormal behavior and weight loss eventually aroused the suspicion of her parents and they took her to a hospital.

Doctors said she had an eating disorder that badly harmed her health.

Li was caught in the university canteen when she tried to steal a classmate's purse.

The sentence included probation of six months and a 1,000 yuan fine.


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