Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex conditions that can arise from a variety of potential causes. Once started, however, they can create a self-perpetuating cycle of physical and emotional destruction. All eating disorders require professional help.

Psychological Factors

Low self-esteem

Feelings of inadequacy or lack of control in life

Depression, anxiety, anger, or loneliness

Interpersonal Factors

Troubled family and personal relationships

Difficulty expressing emotions and feelings

History of being teased or ridiculed based on size or weight

History of physical or sexual abuse

Social Factors

Cultural pressures that glorify "thinness" and place value on obtaining the "perfect body"

Narrow definitions of beauty that include only women and men of specific body weights and shapes

Cultural norms that value people on the basis of physical appearance and not inner qualities and strengths