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Anorexia Nervosa (cont.)

Anorexia Nervosa Causes

A variety of psychological, genetic, biological, developmental, and societal factors may contribute to developing this condition. Anorexia nervosa may be encouraged because of our society's emphasis on thinness and weight loss, especially in women.

  • Genetic risk factors for developing anorexia nervosa may occur.
  • Some evidence suggests differences in brain chemicals in those who develop anorexia.
  • Having a history of feeding problems as an infant, a pattern of under-eating, or having a mother who suffers from depression seem to be associated with developing anorexia.
  • Anorexia is more common among teenage girls and women involved in gymnastics, ballet, or modeling, in which being thin is thought to be a benefit.
  • While Caucasian women in the United States tend to be more frequently diagnosed with anorexia, the ethnic gap in the occurrence of anorexia seems to be closing.
  • Having high self-esteem and a mother with a higher body mass index (BMI) seem to be associated with the prevention of anorexia.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Anorexia Nervosa »

Richard Morton first described anorexia nervosa more than 300 years ago, in 1689, as a condition of "a Nervous Consumption" caused by "sadness, and anxious Cares."

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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