Posted by: cindy | July 12, 2008

Factors That Cause Eating Disorders

Over the last few decades, researchers have made great strides in learning about the causes of and treatments for eating disorders. They continue to study people with eating disorders to get a better idea of all the factors involved. It is in knowing the cause that good treatment begins. The roots of eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are diverse. They seem to be societal, individual, environmental, biochemical and genetic.

Society and individual personality blurs together when it comes to issues of self esteem, perfectionism and control. Binge eaters, anorexics and bulimics have all admitted to using food as a means of handling stress.

When someone with lower self esteem and a perfectionist personality type feels they are overweight, they do what they can to “fix” themselves. This can result in anorexia and/or bulimia. It used to be believed that anorexia was a female issue but recently we have learned that 25 to 33% of those affected by anorexia are male. It isn’t gender specific. It probably occurs more in women than men due to a higher judgment placed on looks for women.

Binge eaters will often use food to handle emotional crises and everyday stress. In this way, it is likened to an addiction. Rather than facing problems head on or coping in a healthy manner, a person is drawn to food.

Biochemical causes for eating disorders have to do with serotonin and hormones. People with eating disorders are often depressed. The correlation is not exactly known. Does depression cause the eating disorder or do eating disorders cause depression? The most assumed answer is that it is both. Hormones have a role to play as well. Certain hormones are elevated in those with eating disorders.

Environmental causes include family, peers and media influence. When families or parents place a lot of emphasis on being thin and/or doing things “perfectly”, teens, especially girls, sometimes react by becoming anorexic, bulimic or binge eaters. When peers and media place emphasis on looks and weight, a perfectionist may decide to do ANYTHING they can to make sure they are good enough.

It has been found that eating disorders do tend to run in families. What isn’t clear is whether it is a “nature” or “nurture” issue. Studies are still being done on eating disorders and obesity and each relate to familial DNA.

The truth about eating disorder treatment. Learn where the disorder starts and when it needs to be treated at



  1. […] – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by artpoetryfiction on July 19, 2008 Facters That Cause Eating Disorders – bookmarked by 4 […]

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