Common Causes of Eating Disorders

Common Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are basically classified into three: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge. Scientists have proven that these are real disorders and you should never undermine anybody suffering from eating disorders. These who suffer from anorexia and bulimia are usually perfectionists who have very low self-esteem and too critical about their bodies. So what causes eating disorders?

Keeping a strict diet

Dieting is also a common cause that precipitates these kinds of disorder. Strict diets have been documented to have over 95% failure rate, but many people still engage in them. Sometimes individuals take extreme measures to lose weight and this turns into an unhealthy obsession. The more they realize the inevitable results of dieting, the worse they go into a spiral of depression, which in turn triggers the eating disorder.

Biological/physiological factors

This simply means there is something wrong with the body, especially the brain. Scientists are working round the clock so as to determine the biological causes of eating disorders. In some cases, the chemicals in the brain that are in charge of hunger, digestion and appetite are responsible for an eating disorder. This means that the individual’s will to eat is totally out of his or her control.

Personality traits

An individual’s personality can determine if they will develop an eating disorder. These may be caused by some genes that make certain people have obsessive thinking, perfectionism etc. These traits can also be developed over time so it is important to ensure that your loved ones always stay objective – well, more or less – about their body.


Research has shown that family background is also an underlying cause of these disorders. This means that individuals who were born with specific genotypes are at an increased risk of developing an eating disorder. People who have a family member with an eating disorder are about 7 times more likely to develop one.

Traumatic experience

People react to trauma differently. Evidence shows that physical or sexual abuse is likely to trigger the development of an eating disorder. This is because the survivors of trauma experience could have feelings of shame, guilt and even body dissatisfaction. A survey concluded that around half of those suffering from eating disorders are victims of traumatic experiences.

Media influence

There is a rising obsession due to the media portraying perfect bodies that only few people have. As those thin ideal bodies are praised, it leads to many people taking the challenge of achieving that body type. A disorder arises when the unsuspecting individual realizes that the perfect body is virtually unachievable. Peer pressure among adolescents caused by the media can even further aggravate the increase of eating disorders.

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