What Causes Eating Disorders?

The Cause of Eating Disorders

What causes someone to obtain an eating disorder? Is it genetics or the influence of someone’s family and friends? Can it be caused by age and gender or by the culture one is a part of? An eating disorder can be affected by each of these factors. One force that is perhaps most prevalent here in the United States is the influence of the media.

Self Esteem & Self Image

Self esteem and self image are two very important aspects of a person’s life. Together they determine a great deal of one’s happiness. In fact, numerous research studies show a direct link in the self esteem of girls and unhealthy eating habits. Various types of eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. Bulimia help, binge eating assistance and anorexia treatment is recommended for anyone suffering from these disorders.

While one’s individual family and choice in friends both impact self esteem and self image, so does the media. Most often the media impacts self esteem and self image in a negative way through various advertisements and its constant focus on thin, beautiful women.

The media has the power to influence what we wear, what we eat and where we shop. Although there is much debate over how much of an impact the media has, it does play a significant role in the decisions we make and how we perceive ourselves.

What Aspects of the Media Affect Us?

  • Billboards
  • Television
  • Clothing sizes
  • Actresses & actors
  • Websites
  • Cosmetics Ads
  • Magazines (Fashion & Beauty)
  • Models

The standards of our country have been raised, with an ever present push to be thin. This influence can be detrimental to the self esteem and self image of numerous Americans and people across the globe. Just 20 years ago, models weighed approximately 8% less than an average woman. In today’s perfectionist society, the average model weighs 23% less than the average woman. Unrealistic standards such as these often cause eating disorders in women. For anyone with an eating disorder, eating disorders treatment is recommended. This eating disorder treatment can be found at a local eating disorder residential center.

3 False Ideas about Weight

The following are 3 false statements often made about weight. These ideas are:

  1. If you are thin, you take care of yourself.
  2. Dieting or being thin will make you a happier person.
  3. If you are thin, you will be made richer, popular, and overall more successful.

These three statements are the underlying beliefs of women everywhere. Where do these ideas come from? Billboards, magazines, and TV shows all demonstrate these three ideas. Standards such as these are not realistic and the comparisons made by studying fashion magazines or photos of celebrities cause feelings of inadequacy, which more often than not leads to dieting and eating disorders. Eating disorders are not easy to deal with. Those suffering should seek eating disorder treatment at a helpful eating disorder treatment clinic.

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One Response to “What Causes Eating Disorders?”

  1. Ronald Lavine, D.C.

    Thanks for the important information. I think eating disorders can be difficult to fathom for those of us outside the field. The average person, who may consider himself or herself 10 or 15 pounds overweight, looks at a skinny person and imagines that that person has more “self-discipline.”

    Then there’s a patient of mine who will only eat bland, tan-colored food. It seems tragically twisted to me, yet for her it must hold some type of internal logic.

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