The 14 risk factors for eating disorders

ADD is a very difficult disorder to treat, which has unfortunately increased over the past 50 years, thanks, above all, to the fact that an unrealistic picture of what is beautiful and bad eating habits has been promoted.

In this article we will see risk factors for ADD, Explaining them in more detail and highlighting how they influence the onset, in particular, of anorexia and bulimia.

    Risk factors for eating disorders

    The cause of eating disorders or ADD (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and unspecified eating disorder) is multifactorial. In other words, that is to say in its formation, several factors are involved, in which genetic aspects are included, psychological characteristics, Sociocultural factors and environmental stressors.

    Although the specific weight of each of these factors and their components is not yet known with certainty, gender is known to influence the chances of suffering from ADD. Out of ten people diagnosed with one of them, 9 are women and there is a greater risk that the diagnosis will be made in early adulthood and childhood or in prepubertal age.

    Risk factors are those that facilitate the onset of eating disorders. They can be individual, collective and social factors. The combination of these different risk factors can lead to the development and maintenance of the disease.

    Then We will examine these risk factors for eating disorders, grouped into individual factors, family factors and social factors., With which it will be a question of better understanding how these eating disorders go.

    individual factors

    Below, we will examine the factors associated with specific characteristics of the person, whether of biological or social origin.

    1. Genetic predisposition

    You are more likely to have ADD if a family member, especially a parent, sibling, has been diagnosed with one in the past. It has been shown that in anorexia, genetics appear to account for about 70% of the vulnerability to being diagnosed.

    Genetics can cause a person to have an unhealthy tendency with food, causing them to eat more than they need or, conversely, to consume fewer calories than necessary to maintain bodily functions.

    The weight of this factor may be increased with other types of environment, such as home environments where weight matters too much or have unhealthy eating habits, as well as factors such as group of friends.

    2. Psychological traits

    There are certain personality traits, such as having too much self-demand, perfectionist tendencies close to obsession, cognitive rigidity and a need for control which are closely related to the presentation of an eating disorder. This makes sense when you consider how easily people with eating disorders focus their attention on their alleged faults and incorrect actions related to the way they eat.

    3. Low self-esteem

    Low self-esteem involves negative and unsatisfying self-assessment, which can affect any area of ​​life, especially when it comes to food as soon as you look in the mirror.

    In the case of people with anorexia, this low self-esteem is easily observed by the way they perceive themselves, overestimate their body size.

    When you look at yourself in the mirror or try on clothes, a whole host of negative emotions are triggered, which is further compounded by low self-esteem and worsening symptoms of AIT.

      4. Adolescence

      A harsh and traumatic adolescence is a very common occurrence people who are diagnosed with ADD as adults. It is during these years that the risk of developing an eating disorder is greatest, as this is when it usually starts out, although the diagnosis worsens after the age of majority.

      Adolescence is a complicated stage, in which a person’s personality, social role and self-esteem are in full development, being more vulnerable to a social environment in which great importance is placed on body image.

        5. Female sex

        As we commented earlier, out of 10 ADD cases, 9 are women and 1 are men. As you can see, there are many more possibilities that being a woman could be diagnosed with one of the eating disorders. It is believed to have a lot to do with gender roles, as the social pressure on women to fit into the canons of beauty is significantly higher than that of men.

        family factors

        We will now look at the factors that come directly from the family, how they relate to the person potentially suffering from ADD, and how they handle the diagnosis.

        6. Unstructured family environment

        In families in which there is no stable and secure structure, a culture broth is generated to develop ADD. in some of its members, especially adolescent girls.

        7. Overprotective home environment

        Sometimes wanting to protect family members is done in such an exaggerated and toxic way that it contributes to the psychopathology that occurs among its members.

        There is a greater risk that a person who has lived will be diagnosed with ADD a family dynamic that is too rigid, dominant and demandinge.

        8. Stressful family experiences

        Changes in the way the family is formed, whether through separation, the death of a member or the birth of a brother or sister who has not been treated in the best way, can make so that a family member sees something special, traumatic about it.

        It may also have happened that, within the same family, one of the members has committed physical or sexual abuse towards another parent, traumatizing him for life and facing the problem through the symptoms of the ATD.

        Social factors

        We will finally see risk factors that come from the company itself, How it is structured and how it relates and treats its members, especially women.

        9. Canon of current beauty

        While in recent years the “many curves” seem more worn, in addition to starting to be perceived as attractive by a greater number of women with physique of all kinds, the canon of feminine beauty remains that of a slim woman. , Without any fat or muscle.

        Excessive thinness has been touted in several media, Especially in fashion shows and the covers of heart magazines.

        While big changes are underway, there are not a few women who, influenced by this media, continue to reject the idea of ​​looking fat, seeing it as something truly grotesque and claiming that extreme thinness is. “Healthy”.

        10. Social pressure on the image

        Related to the previous point, in recent decades, for both men and women, the image has been given greater importance.

        Not only are we talking about women bombarded with images of extreme thinness as synonymous with beauty, but also about family members, friends and others pressuring them to look alike.

        This is not only visible in women, it also happens in men, but since the canon of male beauty is very different, prioritizing extreme bodybuilding and pressing to be fibrous, vigor, the disorder associated with it, is not ADD.

        11. Certain sports and professions

        There are certain sports, such as dancing or synchronized swimming, in which the onset of ADHD can be encouraged., In because of the way the image is processed when doing these types of activities. Other sports in which you run the risk of having a great obsession with weight and what you eat are those in which you compete in weight classes.

        People who work in the world of fashion, entertainment or who are actors and actresses also run the risk of placing too much importance on their body image, of being able to enter the murky world of ADD.

        12. Physical harassment

        People who have received physical teasing and teasing, especially adolescents and children, combined with a feeling of insecurity can eventually develop an obsession with your body image, And evolve into something more serious.

        13. The size system

        Clothing, shoe and other clothing sizes do not constitute a unified system. Each manufacturer applies their own standards on which the part must be classified in one size or another. This means size M in one store may be equivalent to S or L in other stores.

        It may seem trivial, but it is not, especially if you are a woman who all her life thought she had a size, changes stores and sees that the same size is small, and decides to lose weight. weight, although it is already the first. It is very difficult to know what is the exact size of oneself.

        According to the report “Not finding your size promotes anorexia”, around 40% of the population decides to go on a diet when, while shopping, they cannot find clothes of their size, Or they thought they had one and it turns out that in the end it gets small.

        14. Pages that promote ADD

        There are people who have these ADDs who, far from seeking help to try to get out of the well or to try to understand their problem, they apologize, Although it is not difficult to understand if one understands the way in which the canon of beauty is still in force.

        The existence of pages like Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia not only advocate having ADD as a way of life, but also dare to give advice to “help” other girls move forward with your anorexia or bulimia.

        They also teach how to trick loved ones into believing that they are eating or that their bodies are simply genetically eating. Accessing this type of page is very easy, and although many of them have been closed, they appear as if it were an epidemic.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Association against anorexia and bulimia (sf). Association against anorexia and bulimia. Barcelona, ​​Spain. Retrieved from:
        • Attia, E. (2010). Anorexia nervosa: current state and future directions. Annual review of medicine. 61 (1): 425-35.
        • Fuglset, TS; Landrø, NI; Reas, DL; Rø, Ø. (2016). Brain functional alterations in anorexia nervosa: a scope review. Journal of Eating Disorders. 4:32.
        • Portela de Santana, ML, da Costa Ribeiro, H., Mora Giral, M. i Raich, RM (2012). The epidemiology and risk factors of eating disorders in adolescence; a review. Nutr. Hosp. 27 (2), 391-401.
        • Sari, FS (2009). 100 questions and answers on anorexia nervosa. Jones and Bartlett Learning. p. xvi.

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