Healthy Diet Plans >>  Eating Disorders >>  Causes of Eating Disorders
With the recent rise in the incidence of eating disorders, there is a lot of social research devoted to identifying the main causes of eating disorders so as to treat them satisfactorily. Most researchers have concluded that it is the change in lifestyle and the change in the perception of food that has s been chiefly responsible for the increase in the number of people with eating disorders. Other eating disorder causes are thought to arise with the family itself where members of the family do not spend much time together and children are often given chips and other packaged treats as daily snacks. Many children experience certain changes in their behavior and this is what causes eating disorder behavior. Eating disorder behavior in a child is often quite obvious as children can become willfully destructive and often play truant.
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It is essential that we recognize the causes of eating disorders so as to identify the root cause of the problem. Very often people with eating disorders try their level best to control their eating habits but are unable to do so. Identifying the root cause of an eating disorder will allow the person to work towards eliminating the cause itself and this method of treating eating disorders has been found to be among the most effective eating disorders treatment methods. Most eating disorders are triggered by emotional factors. Junk food addiction is now a very common problem faced by many kids, teenagers, and adults across the world. Unlike most eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia which have emotional triggers, junk food addiction can be traced to the calorie content of these foods. The high calorie content in junk foods causes a rise in dopamine levels in the blood. Dopamine basically is a “feel good” compound and so people instinctively keep returning for more junk food for the “feel good” factor. Recent research suggests that this is probably the most important of all food addiction causes and should not be easily dismissed. Drastic changes to one’s diet can cause a sudden drop in dopamine levels which then results in the individual suffering from junk food craving. Doctors and dieticians suggest gradual changes to a diet as this will have less of an effect on an individual and will increase the person’s chances of sticking to a healthier diet.

There are also several emotional causes of eating disorders and so it is important to determine the root cause of an individual’s eating disorder. Childhood trauma, feelings of neglect and inadequacy, loneliness, low self image, and depression are some of the most common emotional causes of eating disorders. If a doctor believes that a patient is suffering from an eating disorder, they generally suggest counseling and therapy. This is an efficient way to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Self diagnosis alone may not be very helpful as these emotions can either be a cause of an eating disorder or a symptom. This means that the individual may have an eating disorder due to depression or they may suffer from depression due to their eating disorder. It is very important to differentiate between cause and effect and therefore it is essential that the individual receives adequate counseling. Consultations with both a dietician and a therapist would be ideal as this will help to eliminate the root cause of the problem as well as help the individual regain his/her health within a shorter time frame. It is important to keep in mind that overeating causes serious health problems and can even result in organ failure and death. Understanding the causes of eating disorders will go a long way in acquiring healthy eating habits.
Submitted on January 16, 2014
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