Causes of eating disorders

There isn’t one reason for people developing eating disorders. It is usually a mixture of psychological, environmental and genetic factors such as:

  • A response to stress, depression or anxiety
  • Controlling emotions or obsessive behaviour
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Fear of being fat, possibly due to social pressures
  • Bullying, criticism or abuse
  • Difficult family relationships
  • having a job or hobby where being thin is seen as ideal, such as dancing or athletics
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Family history of eating disorders, depression or substance misuse

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