What Causes Feeding and Eating Disorders?
The exact cause underlying the feeding and eating disorders is not known. The scientists believe that these disorders arise from a combination of factors, including: genetics, stressful life experiences, cultural emphasis on thinness, perfectionism, and low self-esteem.
Causes of Eating Disorders in Adults and Adolescents
Some experts believe genetic factors are the root cause of many cases of eating disorders. People with blood relatives (siblings or parents) with an eating disorder are likely to develop an eating disorder. This suggests a possible genetic link.
People with psychological and emotional problems are at risk of developing eating disorders. Some factors such as negative family influences, family history of obesity, and sexual abuse may also play a major role in triggering eating disorders.
Cultural pressures, such as desire for thin body image makes some people, especially young women suffer from eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. On the other hand, attractive ads for consuming unhealthy and fast foods plays a major role in triggering some eating disorders in which people tend to eat more food without actually needing it.
The abnormalities in thyroid hormones are considered to be responsible for causing eating disorders in some people. Scientists believe that the hormonal abnormalities causing eating disorders originate in specific regions of the brain—hypothalamus and pituitary gland. Hypothalamus is involved in controlling our behavior, such as eating, sexual behavior and sleeping where as, pituitary gland is involved in controlling thyroid functions, growth, and sexual maturation.
Inappropriate Dieting Cycles
Most of the people suffering from eating disorders make strict dieting rules for themselves in order to get the perfect thin body image they desire. Unfortunately, it becomes nearly impossible to adhere to these strict dieting rules, which often results in the feeling of failure, negative emotions, and poor self-image. Negative beliefs about self can lead to binge eating and purging. Such behavior can cause repetitive problematic dieting and eating behaviors to continue.