Etiology of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders have been a prevalent problem nowadays. According to Gura (2008), celebrities have played a very big role in fueling eating disorders by strongly popularizing the culture to be thin. Concurrently, solutions to eating disorders have been centered on psychiatric help; the major focal point in this mode of treatment is usually improving on a victim’s body image.


Obesity, anorexia and bulimia are estimated to occur in over 6 million women and over 1 million men in the United States alone. The etiology of eating disorders is convoluted; eating disorders could be linked to psychological factors, genetic factors as well as other biological factors such as regulation of serotonin. As a result, obesity, anorexia and bulimia victims appear to have complicated symptoms which include nutritional deficiencies, psychiatric problems and sometimes exaggerated appetite for some obese victims.

However, new findings have proven that drugs such as antidepressants and antipsychotics used to mitigate symptoms of eating disorders are also detrimental to victims of anorexia and bulimia. For example, a case study revealed that olanzapine, an antipsychotic drug, encourages weight gain and lowers hyperactivity of a victim suffering from anorexia or bulimia (Gura, 2008). Experts believe that this move was just but the genesis of a biological research that has been ignored for many years. Recently, victims of anorexia, bulimia and obesity have been found out to possess genes liable for defective brain circuitry; this defect causes depression, anxiety and perfectionism which are conditions tightly tied to eating disorders. These conditions can easily be treated using medication as opposed to the common belief that there is no medication for eating disorders; efficacy of drugs mimicking various hormones is still under research and hopefully a solution will be established.


Eating disorders are on the rise and much attention should be given to this ever-rising problem before it gets out of hand. Albeit there are some medications, more research needs to be done on the genetic, biological, psychological and medical causes of eating disorders to establish a long lasting medication or solution to obesity, anorexia and bulimia.

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