Factors that increase your risk of bulimia may include:
April 29, 2015
- Being female. Girls and women are more likely to have bulimia than boys and men are.
- Age. Bulimia often begins in the late teens or early adulthood.
- Biology. People with first-degree relatives (siblings, parents or children) with an eating disorder may be more likely to develop an eating disorder, suggesting a possible genetic link. It's also possible that a deficiency in the brain chemical serotonin may play a role. And, being overweight as a child or teen may increase the risk.
- Psychological and emotional issues. Psychological and emotional problems, such as anxiety disorder or low self-esteem, can contribute to eating disorders. People with bulimia may feel negatively about themselves. Triggers for bingeing can include stress, poor body self-image, food, boredom and restrictive dieting. In some cases, traumatic events and environmental stress may be contributing factors.
- Media and societal pressure. The media, such as TV and fashion magazines, frequently feature a parade of skinny models and actors. These images seem to equate thinness with success and popularity. But whether the media merely reflect social values or actually drive them isn't clear.
- Sports, work or artistic pressures. Athletes, actors, dancers and models are at a higher risk of eating disorders. Coaches and parents may inadvertently raise the risk by encouraging young athletes to lose weight, maintain a low weight and restrict eating for better performance.
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