Certain situations and events might increase the risk of developing an eating disorder. These risk factors may include:
Feb. 14, 2015
- Being female. Teenage girls and young women are more likely than teenage boys and young men to have anorexia or bulimia, but males can have eating disorders, too.
- Age. Although eating disorders can occur across a broad age range — including childhood, the teenage years and older adulthood — they are much more common during the teens and early 20s.
- Family history. Eating disorders are significantly more likely to occur in people who have parents or siblings who've had an eating disorder.
- Mental health disorders. People with depression, anxiety disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder are more likely to have an eating disorder.
- Dieting. People who lose weight are often reinforced by positive comments from others and by their changing appearance. This may cause some people to take dieting too far, leading to an eating disorder.
- Stress. Whether it's heading off to college, moving, landing a new job, or a family or relationship issue, change can bring stress, which may increase your risk of an eating disorder.
- Sports, work and artistic activities. Athletes, actors, dancers and models may be at higher risk of eating disorders. Coaches and parents may unwittingly contribute to eating disorders by encouraging young athletes to lose weight.
- Feeding and eating disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Dec. 16, 2014.
- Feed and eating disorders. American Psychiatric Publishing. http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Default.aspx. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What's in a name? National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Breuner CC. Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: Eating disorders. Pediatrics in Review. 2010;31:e75.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=331. Accessed Nov. 13, 2014.
- Campbell K, et al. Eating disorders in children and adolescents: State of the art review. Pediatrics. 2014;134:582.
- Couturier J, et al. Efficacy of family-based treatment for adolescents with eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2013;46:3.
- Eating disorders. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Eating disorders. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/eating-disorders. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Eating disorders. American Psychological Association. http://apa.org/helpcenter/eating.aspx. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Eating disorders. National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=65851. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 20, 2014.
- McElroy SL, et al. Efficacy and safety of lisdexamfetamine for treatment of adults with moderate to severe binge-eating disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. In press. Accessed Jan. 14, 2015.
- Sim LA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 4, 2015.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 5, 2015.
- Hensrud DD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8, 2015.
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