Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour. A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health. Types of eating disorders
Eating disorders include a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially. The most common eating disorders are: anorexia nervosa, when someone tries to keep their weight as low as possible, for example by starving themselves or exercising excessively bulimia, when someone tries to control their weight by binge eating and then deliberately being sick or using laxatives (medication to help empty their bowels) binge eating, when someone feels compelled to overeat
Causes of eating disorders
Eating disorders are often blamed on the social pressure to be thin, as young people in particular feel they should look a certain way. However, the causes are usually more complex. There may be some biological or influencing factors, combined with an experience that may provoke the disorder, plus other factors that encourage the condition to continue. Risk factors that can make someone more likely to have an eating disorder include: having a family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse being criticised for their eating habits, body shape or weight being overly concerned with being slim, particularly if combined with pressure to be slim from society or for a job (for example ballet dancers, models or athletes) certain characteristics, for example, having an obsessive personality, an anxiety disorder, low self-esteem or being a perfectionist particular experiences, such as sexual or emotional abuse or the death of someone special difficult relationships with family members or friends
stressful situations, for example problems at work, school or university Spotting an eating disorder...
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