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Causes of eating disorder

  • Genetics. Certain people may have genes that increase their risk of developing eating disorders. People with first-degree relatives — siblings or parents — with an eating disorder may be more likely to develop an eating disorder, too.
  • Psychological and emotional health. People with eating disorders may have psychological and emotional problems that contribute to the disorder. They may have low self-esteem, perfectionism, impulsive behavior and troubled relationships.
  • Society. Success and worth are often equated with being thin in popular culture. Peer pressure and what people see in the media may fuel this desire to be thin.