Causes of Eating Disorders

Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Erindale Campus, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Annual Review of Psychology (Impact Factor: 20.53). 02/2002; 53(1):187-213. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135103
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have emerged as the predominant eating disorders. We review the recent research evidence pertaining to the development of these disorders, including sociocultural factors (e.g., media and peer influences), family factors (e.g., enmeshment and criticism), negative affect, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction. Also reviewed are cognitive and biological aspects of eating disorders. Some contributory factors appear to be necessary for the appearance of eating disorders, but none is sufficient. Eating disorders may represent a way of coping with problems of identity and personal control.

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    • "Emotional eating (i.e., eating in response to negative emotions) is a contributing factor in obesity and eating disorders (Hays & Roberts, 2008; Polivy & Herman, 2002). Several studies have shown overeating after the experience of negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety or sadness, in dieters (Cools, Schotte, & McNally, 1992; Heatherton, Herman, & Polivy, 1991; Loxton, Dawe, & Cahill, 2011; Wallis & Hetherington, 2004), obese people (Patel & Schlundt, 2001; Schneider, Appelhans, Whited, Oleski, & Pagoto, 2010), and obese binge eaters (Agras & Telch, 1998; Chua, Touyz, & Hill, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional eating has been suggested to be a learned behaviour; more specifically, classical conditioning processes might be involved in its development. In the present study we investigated whether a negative mood facilitates appetitive conditioning, and whether trait impulsivity influences this process. After undergoing either a negative or neutral mood induction, participants were subjected to a differential classical conditioning procedure, using neutral stimuli and appetizing food. Two initially neutral distinctive vases with flowers were (CS+) or were not (CS-) paired with chocolate mousse intake. We measured participants' expectancy and desire to eat (4 CS+ and 4 CS- trials), salivation response, and actual food intake. The BIS-11 was administered to assess trait impulsivity. In both mood conditions, participants showed a classically conditioned appetite. Unexpectedly, there was no evidence of facilitated appetitive learning in a negative mood with regard to expectancy, desire, salivation, or intake. However, immediately before the taste test, participants in the negative mood condition reported a stronger desire to eat in the CS+ compared to the CS- condition, while no such effect occurred in the neutral group. An effect of impulsivity was found with regard to food intake in the neutral mood condition: high-impulsive participants consumed less food when presented with the CS+ compared to the CS-, and also less than low-impulsive participants. An alternative pathway to appetitive conditioning with regard to emotions is that it is not the neutral stimuli, but the emotions themselves that become conditioned stimuli and elicit appetitive responses. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Appetite 02/2015; 89. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2015.02.018 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "However, evidence consistently demonstrates that African-Americans indeed present with all forms of eating disorders. Despite these data, theoretical models based upon upper-class Caucasian females in foodabundant cultures – likely due to their internalisation of the 'thin ideal' – are still prominent (Polivy & Herman, 2002). Indeed, accepted theoretical models mainly underscore the roles of restraint (Herman & Polivy, 1980; Stice, Presnell, & Spangler, 2002), low self-esteem due to body weight and shape concerns (Heatherton & Baumeister, 1991), and body dissatisfaction (Stice et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past three decades, there has been an increase in the number of empirical investigations of the phenomenology of eating disorders among African American adolescents. Despite efforts to understand racial/ethnic differences, relatively few eating disorder models address the important sociocultural factors that exert powerful influences on beliefs and behaviors related to weight status and eating patterns in this population. Nevertheless, researchers must be culturally competent in order to develop appropriate models. Therefore, we propose an approach to developing researcher cultural competence by addressing potential barriers that may hinder efforts to explore relevant, culturally appropriate factors that contribute to eating disturbance in African American girls. In this regard, we highlight the importance of integrative collaboration that can assist in identification and exploration of potential risk factors that may lead to model generation. We believe such information will lead to the development of culturally appropriate assessments, models, and, ultimately, interventions.
    11/2014; 3(1):1-12. DOI:10.1080/21662630.2014.948470
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    • "Research has demonstrated that elevated body dissatisfaction is predictive of chronic attempts at dieting and eating disorders (e.g., Polivy & Herman, 2002). Body image fluctuates in response to situational factors (Cash, 2002), such as weight-related feedback (e.g., Dionne & Davis, 2004; McFarlane, McCabe, Jarry, Olmsted, & Polivy, 2001; McFarlane, Polivy, & Herman, 1998; Mills & Miller, 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: In Study 1 women were randomly assigned to viewing: (1) no photo of themselves, (2) an accurate, full-body photo, (3) a photo modified to make them appear thinner than usual, or (4) a photo modified to make them appear heavier than usual. Measures of mood, state self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction were completed. There were no main effects of photo condition; participants were generally poor at perceiving weight change. The heavier that participants thought they looked in their photo as compared to usual, the worse their appearance self-esteem and body dissatisfaction. Study 2 replicated these results and found that participants with higher levels of trait body checking were more likely to report that they looked heavier than usual in the photo. Study 3 replicated these results and found that the correlation between body parts checking and how participants thought they looked in the photo held true even after controlling for appearance investment.
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