Eating disorders are complex problems. There are many different factors that contribute to their development. Some factors are genetic, while others are sociocultural or psychological. Although many of the factors are the same for all types of eating disorder, they may interact in different ways in different people. These factors are important to understand so that health professionals can help reduce the stigma surrounding the condition.
Research has shown that certain groups are at higher risk for developing an eating disorder. Among these are individuals from racial/ethnic minority groups, women, and those with physical and emotional illnesses. Many studies have shown that people with anorexia nervosa tend to be lonely and isolated. People who are obese are also at greater risk. Having a family history of an eating disorder has also been linked to the development of the condition.
The current study examined data from 496 community female adolescents. They completed eight annual assessments of potential risk factors for eating disorders. Participants were asked to complete a list of 18 pre-identified causes of eating disorders. Body image was listed most often as a cause. This type of disorder is thought to be caused by an abnormal regulation of neurochemicals in the brain.
Eating disorders can be triggered by stressful life events. These can be related to academics, family, or other issues. It is important to learn how to effectively manage your emotions. Stress is a challenging issue for all people, but children are particularly vulnerable. When a child is faced with stress, it can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
A recent study found that elevated body dissatisfaction is a significant predictor of an eating disorder. Specifically, this factor increased the risk of an eating disorder by 68%. In addition, this factor was significantly predictive at all four early adolescent assessment points.
Genetics plays a key role in the development of eating disorders. Studies have shown that those who have a family history of anorexia have a greater risk of developing the condition. Another factor that is commonly cited is sexual abuse. Physical abuse, however, has received empirical support as a risk factor for psychiatric difficulties.
Some of the other factors that are associated with eating disorders include overprotective parenting, parental indifference, and a lack of body acceptance. Parents can help prevent eating disorders by encouraging their child to focus on their physical health instead of their appearance. Keeping a healthy body image can improve your self-esteem and your overall outlook on life.
Media and culture are important influences on the development of an eating disorder. The media often represents a thin ideal, and girls may learn to diet from their peers. If a girl’s parents are not careful, she may become obsessed with her body shape and weight. She might also feel pressure from peer pressure to conform to this cultural ideal.
Adolescence is a critical time for the development of eating disorders. Symptoms of anorexia and binge eating disorder can be characterized by a high drive for perfection.