Understanding the Underlying Causes of Eating Disorders in the United States

Source: healthline.com

Anorexia, or eating disorder, has been a prominent theme of concern for quite some time now, especially in the USA. According to ANAD, almost 28.8 million people in the country suffer or will suffer from it at any given point. And, as per another report, almost 10,200 individuals also lose their lives every year due to such illnesses.

But, before we understand the grave situation, let’s first uncover the reason behind it. And, in order to do that, here, we will talk about –

  • What is an eating disorder?
  • How and why does it occur?
  • What are the core symptoms of eating disorders that you need to look out for?

Remember – anorexia is quite deadly and, thus, should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know is suffering from the same, it’s important to get them medically evaluated.

Otherwise, you might put your or their life in jeopardy.

Eating Disorders – Uncovering the Underlying Horrors

Source: waldeneatingdisorders.com

An eating disorder is a serious medical condition that can affect both your psychological and physical well-being. This illness will negatively impact on your eating behavior and alter your general thoughts about eating, food, weight, and body shape.

The symptoms inflicted by the disease can also affect your emotions and how you function in your day-to-day life. Hence, if you don’t get it treated accordingly, it may become a long-term issue and, in some cases, might cause death. However, it’s quite rare.

Anorexia is one of the (if not the) most common eating disorders, as almost 0.9% women and 0.3% men in the USA suffer from it. Apart from these, bulimia and binge-eating disorder are a few of the other similar issues that are quite dominant in the country.

Like almost any other psychological condition, it’s difficult to pinpoint the true cause behind the occurrence of an eating disorder. Nevertheless, it’s most common amongst people who are too much focused on their body weight, shape, and food consumption.

These behaviors can gravely affect your body’s ability to gain nutrition and lead to –

  • Heart diseases
  • Loss in bone density
  • Issues related to your digestive system

Furthermore, they’re also related to anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. But, with proper treatment and by incorporating healthy habits, you can get back to your usual self pretty easily. So, we’d highly recommend you to take care of yourself as much as you can.

The Apparent Cause of Eating Disorders

As we’ve discussed before, pinpointing the actual cause of the eating disorders is impossible. However, doctors have found some risk factors that may contribute to such an issue.

Here’s what you need to know about it –

1: Negativity-Induced Mental Health

Depression and anxiety, especially related to your body shape or weight, may be a prominent contributor to the occurrence of an eating disorder. In addition to these, various traumas, such as childhood sexual abuse can also be a contributor to this problem.

Social stressors, including  bullying or peer pressure, might also lead to the same.

2: Being Concerned about One’s Body Image

Some of the common risk factors related to your body image or eating behaviors may also be tied to the development of an eating disorder. These may include the following –

  • Being dissatisfied about your body
  • Early childhood eating, feeding, or gastrointestinal issues
  • Having an unhealthy fixation with getting a thinner body structure
  • Critical comments or teasing related to your body weight

3: Miscellaneous Factors

Some doctors also cite family dysfunction to be an emerging cause of eating disorders. But, in a way or another, your family won’t be directly related to the development of the issue.

For example, growing up in a dysfunctional house can lead to many psychological conditions that are related to anorexia or bulimia. But it doesn’t really condemn the child to that disorder. It might contribute to it indirectly, though.

A research module also suggests that growing up in a rigid family might be related to a higher risk of anorexia. However, there’s still not enough proof available to back up that notion.

Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

The signs or symptoms of the eating disorders tend to vary from one condition to another. So, let’s learn more about it categorically –

1: Anorexia

Also known as anorexia nervosa, anorexia is the deadliest eating disorder of all. It includes an unhealthy or malnourished body weight, an unrealistic view of body weight and shape, and an intense uneasiness related to gaining weight.

People with anorexia often try to control their weight by severely limiting their calories to an extreme degree. Sometimes, they cut down on their calories entirely by stopping eating. Some people also use diet aids, laxatives, or attempt to vomit after eating to lose their weight.

2: Bulimia

Bulimia nervosa or simply bulimia, is a serious eating disorder, which can include episodes of binging followed by purging of the food. Sometimes, people suffering from this ailment might also limit their food intake for a day or two without any reason.

This, in turn, can lead to the urge of binge eating and purging after a while.

Binging involves eating food, an excessive amount of it sometimes. During this period, most people will feel like they have literally zero control over eating and, therefore, they can’t stop. After eating, they experience a sense of guilt and begin the ‘purging ritual’.

3: Binge-Eating Disorder

As the name implies, this disorder involves the patient consuming a lot of food within a short amount of time. As with the previous issue, binging will feel like you don’t have control over eating at all. However, in this case, you won’t experience the purging habit here anyway.

Nonetheless, once the binging is complete, you’ll feel a sense of guilt, shame, or disgust. This might prompt you to stop eating for a large period of time. The feeling of embarrassment may also lead to eating all alone to hide your habit from others.

Source: psychologytoday.com


If you see a friend or a family member suffering from these issues, we’d suggest you to talk to them accordingly. You can also help get them treated in a mental health center. If you want to get more info on the same, make sure to visit the official website of Renewed Light.

It should be quite helpful for both of you.