Causes of Eating Disorders and Obesity

Causes of Eating Disorders and Obesity

Eating disorders portrays illnesses that are depicted by an irregular eating habit and severe discomfort about body weight, size, and shape. Eating disorders include excessive or insufficient intake of food, and on the long run will damage a person’s state of health and even happiness. The usual forms of eating disorders include Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa and also binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are serious, difficult and can destroy an individual.

Eating disorders normally happens during the teenage years or young adulthood, although eating disorder is a treatable illness, the symptoms and aftermath can be potentially devastating and damaging to the health and general well being if not well handled. Eating disorder can happen at the same time with depression, anxiety disorder and even substance abuse. They are caused by a combination of factors which includes psychological, biochemical, genetic, cultural, and environmental factors.

Obesity is a complicated eating disorder involving too much body fat. Obesity isn’t just an aesthetic discomfort, it also has its health problems, it increases your risk of getting diseases and heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity often happens when an individual eats too much calories or junk food and not doing enough physical activity or exercise. Study shows that one in four people in the UK are obese. Obesity is best described by using the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is an individual’s weight in pounds divided by their height in meters. An adult who has a BMI of over 30 is considered obese, while a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal weight.

This article will take you through the causes of eating disorders and obesity, in a bid to help you avoid them and stay healthy, because a healthy society is beneficial for everyone.

Causes of eating disorders

Eating disorders are a complicated problem caused by a series of factors, the main cause of eating disorder is yet unknown and is believed to be caused by a combination of biological, physical, environmental and other factors. Some of the causes include:

  • Genetics: Genetics contribute a whole lot and influences an individual to eating disorders. As a genetically identified disease it runs in the family. Although the relationship between genetics and eating disorder is still being very much researched on, but there is sure a certain link between the two.
  • Psychology: A lot of psychological factors contribute to eating disorders. Lots of cases of eating disorders are psychologically related and are common in individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety and also obsessive-compulsive disorders. Other psychological factors include having a negative body image of yourself, very poor self esteem, trouble coping with or expressing your emotions, perfectionism, and impulsivity.
  • Aesthetics: Aesthetically oriented sports like rowing, ballet, diving, wrestling and gymnastics lay a lot of emphasis on maintaining a lean body for improved and more effective performance. So it’s common to see people involved in such sports to have eating disorders.
  • Environment: The environment an individual grow up in can contribute a lot to them developing eating disorder, the environmental factors include, turbulent or difficult childhood, a history of sexual abuse, physical abuse, family or relationship problems, peer pressure, and exercises that occurred as a result of an individual’s weight.
  • Biological and biochemical: People with eating disorders normally have abnormal or excessive amounts of certain chemicals which controls processes such as sleep, appetite, and stress. Other biological factors include irregular hormone functions, and nutritional insufficiency.
  • Cultural: The risk of having an eating disorder can be spurred by culture, wanting to be thin, body satisfaction and dieting are all norms encouraged by societal culture. And wanting to fit in into society can lead an individual into developing eating disorder.

Causes of obesity

  • Inactivity: If you eat more calories than you burn, gaining weight is almost unavoidable. With an inactive lifestyle weight gain can be rapid as you take in more calories than you make use of through normal day activities and exercises.
  • Family lifestyle: If an individual’s parent is obese there is an increased chance that you might also turn out to be obese. Genetics is not the only factor that will make obesity to run in a family, family members normally share eating habits and activities.
  • Unhealthy diets: Taking in food with lots of calories, like junk food, fast foods lacking in fruits and vegetables, and supported with high calorie beverages for sure increases weight gain and contributes to obesity.
  • Genetics: Your genetic composition may also play a part in the amount of body fat stored in your body, and how the fat is distributed. It also plays a part in how your body burns down calories during body activities and exercises, and also how it converts food into energy.
  • Age: Obesity occurs in any age in a person’s life, adulthood or childhood. But as a person grows older less activity and hormonal changes in the body can increase the possibility of getting obese. The amount of muscle in your body also tends to reduce with age, which in turn causes a reduction in muscles which in effect reduces body metabolism, with a reduced body metabolism the efficiency with which the body burns down fat is reduced, which leads to weight gain and obesity.
  • Lack of sleep: Irregular sleeping schedules, or not getting enough or too much sleep can also increase the risk of you getting obese. It results in a change of hormones that increases the appetite. It also makes you crave foods high in calories which will eventually lead to weight gain and obesity.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy women gain more weight, after delivering of the baby they tend to find it difficult to shed that weight gained in that period, that weight gain may lead to obesity in women.

So it is very important we avoid these causes of eating disorders and obesity, a healthy body makes a happy individual, and a happy individual makes the world a better place, let’s make the world a better place by doing anything within our means to keep our body healthy.