What Causes Eating Disorders in Teens? Essay

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This research plan is about the causes of eating disorders among teenagers. Environmental and personal factors play important roles in determining eating patterns and these need to be examined in order to understand how they are related or not to eating disorders. In so doing, it will also be possible to determine the significance of this research and apply it to the modern-day context.

Literature review
Recent studies have shown that eating disorders, termed EDs, are gradually taking on a great significance in the modern world. It would perhaps be best to determine the causes of EDs in general and then find out the type of ED they lead to consequently. Several reasons have been forward as causes of EDs, and
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Eating disorders can be broadly defined as any of a series of psychological imbalances that involve excessive or insufficient food intake or their associates. They can be classed mainly into four categories namely ‘anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified’ (Treasure, Claudino & Zucker, 2010). In order to understand what leads to EDs, it is necessary to understand what each disorder is about.
‘Eating disorders involve self-critical, negative thoughts and feelings about appearance and food, and eating behaviour that harms normal body composition and functioning’ (Health Insite, 2010). Understanding briefly what the different EDs, especially AN and BN are about could also help in determining their causes. Anorexia nervosa, or AN, is a condition in which loss of appetite results from severe emotional disturbance. It is life-threatening in that it can lead to extremely low body weight. BN, on the other hand, is ‘characterised by periods of binge eating, which is eating large amounts of food in a rapid, automatic and powerless fashion. Binges are then compensated for by dieting, purging behaviours - such as vomiting or taking laxatives - and over-exercising’ (The Australian Psychological Society, 2010). Unlike AN though, BN is not life-threatening.

Biological factors as possible causes of eating disorders
EDs may have as causes inherited factors. Some studies

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