Eating disorders

What are eating disorders?

Eating Behaviour are conditions characterised by an alteration in eating habits and body image, with serious consequences for health, as they can lead to the appearance of physical problems, such as the lack of certain nutrients as well as the appearance of disturbances in bodily and or psychosocial functions (alterations in the individual´s relationship with food and their environment).

These disorders are becoming increasingly common and beginning at earlier ages. They affect women (90%) much more than men (10%), and there are more vulnerable groups including gymnasts, hostesses, dancers and models. The most familiar types are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, although incomplete disorders known as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) are becoming more common today. Other altered eating behaviours have also appeared in recent years which are not recognised by experts, such as orthorexia and bigorexia.

What are the causes?

There could be multiple causes, although it is recognised that genetic, biological, psychological, social and cultural factors have an influence. Genetic, psychological and biological factors make a person more vulnerable to social and cultural influences (as in the cult of the thinness as a model of social success), that act as a trigger for the disorders.

Most cases begin with slimming diets without professional supervision, although they may also appear in relation to the non-acceptance of body changes during adolescence, physical complexes, the loss of a loved one, conflict with parents or a partner, and so on. Among psychological characteristics, these people can be insecure, with low self-esteem, perfectionists, more worried about what others expect of them and keeping other people happy, and with a fear of failure or growing up.

Anorexia nervosa Bulimia nervosa EDNOS

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