Anorexia nervosa and related eating disorders are rare in non-western cultures. In India the information regarding these disorders is very limited. The authors describe five cases of young women who chiefly presented with refusal to eat, persistent vomiting, marked weight loss, amenorrhea and other somatic symptoms. They did not show overactivity or disturbances in body image seen characteristically in anorexia nervosa. Though finally diagnosed and treated as cases of eating disorder, they presented considerable difficulty in diagnosis. The paper discusses the reasons for the seeming rarity of anorexia nervosa in India and sociocultural reasons for its atypical presentation.