Eating Disorders
Causes, types and Treatments


The cause of an eating disorder can be divided into three factors, which are predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating.

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Predisposing Factors

Predisposing factors are what exist in us before the eating disorder is fully developed in our bodies. The components of the predisposing factors are genetics, biological factors, personality, and sociocultural elements.

The genetic transfer of an eating disorder or illness happens in very complex ways, as it occurs with a helping hand from both parents. Certain characteristics are common among people with certain eating disorders. Most people who suffer from anorexia nervosa have an unrelenting personality and can perfectionists.

Biological factors can sometimes be out of our control, or possibly caused by bad habits. A person’s eating habits can lead to nutrient deficiency. With the mindset that being bigger than others is wrong and ugly, there is a social obsession with being thin, especially with women. Even children themselves have been picked on and bullied for having more weight than others.

Precipitating Factors

A precipitating factor is the thing that prompts the beginning of an eating disorder. This pushes the buttons of the predisposing factors and encourages the drastic change in our eating behavior. Precipitating factors alone do not cause the eating disorder to develop. There are a variety of precipitating factors that people come across in their lives, examples of some stressful events that could cause an eating disorder to be triggered are:

  • Abuse (physical, emotional, verbal, sexual)
  • Moving schools or moving where you live
  • Death of a loved one or friend
  • Trouble with family members or friends
  • Being a witness to a severe trauma upcoming stress (tests, exams)

Perpetuating Factors

Perpetuating factors help maintain the eating disorder once it has developed from the predisposing factor, thanks to the precipitating factor. In some cases, the continuation of the precipitating factor can turn into the perpetuating factor. An example would be a child being bullied at a young age, causing the disorder to develop, and with the continuation of the bullying, it can prolong the disorder, maintaining an unhealthy eating habit.

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