Who Is Most At Risk For Eating Disorders?

Eating Disorders

Although eating disorders and the people who suffer from them are not alike, they do have one thing in common the risk factors that cause these conditions to develop.

Risk Factors for Eating Disorders

A close relative with an eating disorder or other mental disorder

If a person has a parent, sibling or sister with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, or a behavioral addiction such as gambling, the risk that that person will develop an eating disorder is increased. According to some reports, the risk of developing eating disorders is approximately 65% ​​dependent on family factors – for example, heredity and history of attitudes towards food adopted in a particular family.

Diet adherence

If a person has tried to lose weight with a strict diet in the past, the risk that he will develop an eating disorder in the future is higher than that of a peer who has never been on a diet.

Strict diets create restrictions and require strong self-control. As a result, any meal begins to cause severe anxiety and anxiety, and this increases the risk of developing an eating disorder.

Diabetes mellitus of the first type

According to some reports, eating disorders are two and a half times more common in children and adolescents with diabetes than in their peers without diabetes.

This may be because younger people with type 1 diabetes have fluctuating blood glucose levels. If the sugar levels drop too much after an injection of insulin, the hormone that moves glucose from the blood into the cells, some people become very hungry. The stronger the hunger, the more difficult it is to control – and the higher the risk that a person will overeat over time.

The cult of thinness

This is a whole group of circumstances related to the assessment of other people that can push a person to anxiety about their body weight. In almost all societies, thinness is considered not only a sign of beauty, but also a symbol of wealth, intelligence and self-control. Movies, videos, and photos on social media constantly feed this belief.

As a result, many teenagers whose bodies deviate from the standard begin to consider themselves fat – even if they have a normal body mass index, or BMI. To get rid of the “stigma of a loser”, many sit down on the first diet in their lives. And diet is an independent risk factor for ED.


People who seem fat to others are often teased, and some are outright mocked.

This usually happens at school, but some are bullied at home as well. As a result, bullying victims may become ashamed of their appearance and blame themselves for every bite they swallow.

Difficult family relationships

Moreover, it is not necessary that family quarrels or conflicts be related to the appearance of the child – the cause of tension can be any. Family difficulties increase anxiety, and thus the risk of developing eating disorders.

The experience of physical and moral abuse experienced in the past

The more a child has been abused, the higher the risk of developing eating disorders during adolescence and adolescence.

Psychological factors

This group includes personality traits that increase the risk of developing eating disorders. People who:

  • Dissatisfied with your body.
  • Very demanding of himself, including his appearance, and tends to set deliberately unattainable standards – that is, a perfectionist.
  • Previously suffered from an anxiety disorder. For example, in generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety does not occur in specific situations but is present in a person’s life around the clock. This increases the risk that, in the end, the person will become anxious, including about food.
  • Inclined to subordinate his life to strict rules and is not ready to deviate from them under any circumstances.

At the same time, it is important to understand that all people react to the same factors in different ways. Someone eventually develops a disorder, while someone does not. But in general, the more risk factors, the more likely a person is to develop an eating disorder.


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