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Childhood Eating Disorder Causes

(Also Known As: Children's Eating Disorder Causes, Eating Disorder Causes, Bulimia Causes, Anorexia Causes, Binge Eating Causes)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What Causes Childhood Eating Disorder?

Like other psychological disorders, there is no known cause for childhood eating disorders. Although, there are a number of factors that can contribute or might cause this disease; biological, psychological, family, genetic, environmental and social factors are the possible causes of this disorder.

A child with biological siblings, parents or member of the family who have eating disorder is a potential candidate for having this disorder. If the parents are themselves worried about their shape and weight, there is also an increased chance that a child would acquire that attitude. Also, the serotonin which is a brain chemical that occurs naturally, could possibly affect eating behaviors since it is linked to the regulation of food intake.

Psychological factors can be a reason for childhood eating disorders. According to a study conducted by Dr. W. Stewart Agras, children who have anorexic mothers were already more depressed, noisy, and have an eating dysfunction by age five. Negative feelings can also affect eating attitude of a person or a child. Richards et al. indicated that there is a connection between body image dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms in fifth to sixth grade girls and boys. While, there is no relation between body image satisfaction and weight and eating concerns with girls only.

If a child has an obsessive-compulsive personality, he/she is eager to starve himself/herself and even not to eat at all for a number of days just to loose an unlikely weight goal and not even consider that they are already thin. There are also instances that phobia or trauma can result in an eating disorder in children. Bernal and Chatoor et al. indicated that a child may decline to eat after an occurrence of choking.

Another possible cause of eating disorder is that in the western culture, thin is beautiful; especially since magazines nowadays use models that are slim and skinny. The sociocultural matter can highlight the desire of a child to be thin thus affecting his/her eating attitude. Based on a study done recently, it is noted that girls who are involved with aesthetic sports are more concerned with their weight than those who are not. In addition, girls who join aesthetic sports reported higher weight concerns at ages 5 and 7 and these girls have shown utmost worry about their weight when they reaches age 7.

Could You Have Childhood Eating Disorder?

Childhood Eating Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Anorexia Nervosa – Starvation, Over-Exercise, Laxatives, Diuretics, Warped Body Image
Bulimia Nervosa – binge eating, purging, fasting, excessive eating, uncontrolled eating