Cause and Effects of Eating Disorders

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Kaylie Davis
Cause and Effect Journal
Eating Disorders
About 24 million of US suffer from an eating disorder. Eating disorders affect almost anyone, but they target women, more specifically teenage girls between the age of 11-23 (National 1). Eating disorders range from anorexia and bulimia to taking laxatives and restricting what you eat. There are multiple causes of eating disorders. Biological factors and social media can cause a person to have an eating disorder.

Biological factors such as chemical imbalances in the brain can trigger an eating disorder. Dopamine in a chemical that is found in the brain and it is involved in weight and feeding behaviors. Recovering anorexics show an increase in dopamine levels. Also in recovering anorexics, there has been an abnormal amount of Serotonin levels. Dopamine and Serotonin are closely tied to appetite, mood, and impulse control which are all altered when an eating disorder is present (Brain 1).

Another biological factor is heredity. Studies have been done to show if eating disorders are caused by genes. Stephanie Zerwas and Cynthis Bulik conducted a study on a pair of Caucasian, female twins to see if their family history had an effect on them. The twins had almost identical genes so if an eating disorder affected one then it should affect the other is heredity effected the cause of eating disorders. They found out that there is a substantial amount of hereditary influence on them. Another study concluded that 50% of eating disorders are triggered by a person’s genes (Are 1).

Social media is a huge influence on what people think is “beautiful.” Small, tiny, stick-skinny girls are what media is making people believe to be what they should look like. Teenagers and young girls are watching movie stars, singers, and models portray the image of an “Ideal” body image to be small. Thing such as Facebook and Pinterest increase peoples self-conscious levels to the point of an eating disorder. Social Media has...
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