What Causes Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses; while the precise cause is not known, most researchers currently believe that eating disorders arise from the a complex interaction of genetics and environmental triggers. Eating disorders are not caused by choice, passing fads or phases; they are severe and can be fatal. Once started they can create an ongoing cycle of physical and emotional destruction.
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of control in life or feeling inadequate
- Depression, anxiety or stress
Dieting & Social Pressure
- Being teased or ridiculed based on size, weight or body image
- Cultural factors that praise thinness or being muscular and obtaining the perfect body.
- Social pressures that value people on their physical appearance and not inner-qualities
- Professions and careers that promote thinness and weight loss (i.e. ballet and modeling)
- Aesthetic and weight-oriented sports such as diving, gymnastics and wrestling.
- The risk of developing an eating disorder, according to the Eating Disorder Coalition, is 50-80% genetics.
- Researchers from the University of Iowa and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have identified two gene mutations, ESSRA and HDAS4, that increase the risk of eating disorders.
For more information on causes of eating disorders please visit the National Eating Disorder Association at www.neda.org and the Eating Disorder Coalition at www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org.