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Causes Of Eating Disorders Essay

1781 words - 8 pages

Many studies show various contributing factors that may lead a person into the development of an eating disorder. An individual may become a victim of an eating disorder due to problems in their social or personal lives. The causes of eating disorders are not factors of just one specific situation, but can root from many areas of ones life. Studies have narrowed down what seems to be the most popular causes for a person to develop these eating disorders. Severe disorders in individuals’ eating habits can stem from many factors including but not limited to childhood and adulthood emotional, physical and sexual abuse, poor body image, substance abuse, and their living environment.
A wide variety of studies have been completed to see the affects that childhood emotional abuse has on ones eating habits. There are people that are emotionally abused but are able to come out seemingly unharmed or affected, as well as, those that continue to deal with lifelong damage. During a study of 176 bulimic individuals 41.6% of them reported to have suffered severe emotional abuse as a child (Groleau, Steiger, Bruce, Israel, Sycz, Ouellette & Badawi, 2011). Although many of the patients included in the study suffered from different types of abuse leading to their eating disorder, the study also showed that those that suffered childhood emotional abuse tended to have more severe eating habits than the others (Groleau, Steiger, Bruce, Israel, Sycz, Ouellette & Badawi, 2011). The study relays that when a child suffers from emotional damage, it can lead into an altered view of oneself into adulthood. The study reports that, “childhood emotional abuse may influence severity of eating symptoms, perhaps by impacting individuals’ self-esteem and affect regulation” (Groleau, Steiger, Bruce, Israel, Sycz, Ouellette & Badawi, 2011).
The study of childhood sexual abuse contributing to the development of eating disorders has been greatly studied over time. According to, “Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse in Spanish Female Undergraduates: Does it Affect Eating Disturbances?”, those who suffered childhood sexual abuse had an “increased weight concern.” It states that “childhood sexual abuse is associated with an increased in weight concern, which in turn increases the risk for developing an eating disorder.” (Villarroel, Penelo, Portell & Raich, 2012). Weight concern is the main problem at the start of an eating disorder. A person becoming obsessed with their weight or their self-image marks the first stage in attempting to change ones’ body. This study reveals that this “increased weight concern” was worse in the more serious cases of abuse, whether physical, emotional or sexual. Although there were varying forms of abuse that the researched patients suffered from, there was definitely a significantly greater number that suffered from some type of eating disorder in those that suffered childhood sexual abuse than in those that did not (Villarroel, Penelo,...

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