Eating disorders are a serious mental illness that cause disordered eating and can be fatal in the most extreme cases and there are an estimated 1.6 million suffers in the UK. There are different sorts of disorders including: Anorexia Nervosa, a disorder where the person tries to lose weight to the point of starvation, there is an extreme fear of gaining weight and distorted body image. Due to severe malnutrition, the risk of hospitalisation with anorexia is high and has the highest death rates of all mental illnesses. Bulimia nervosa, is an eating disorder where the person binge eats a large amount of food and then purges in an attempt to get rid of the food consumed, often by vomiting or by taking laxatives. Binge eating disorder, where copious quantities of food are consumed, eating extreme amounts of food even though not hungry, followed by feelings of guilt and shame. Emotional Overeating is an attempt to manage moods by consuming food and can often lead to more serious eating disorders. It is said that between 5-10% of young people are affected by some form of eating disorder and bulimia being the most dominant of all the eating disorders (Treasure.2016). The cause of eating disorders is not fully understood, and it is thought the combination of genetic, environment and social influences all play a part. The aim of this assignment is to discuss each contributing factor that could influence the onset of an eating disorder and to look at psychological models.
It estimated in the UK that there are 1.9 million people effected by an eating disorder, but experts put this estimation at a significantly higher rate, as a substantial number of cases go undiagnosed. The average age of onset of eating disorders is 17 but some children as young as 8 years old have been affected and it is reported as the third most common chronic illness in developed countries (Creds.org.2017).
Eating disorders are often seen as a predominantly female issue, but it is a growing problem amongst males, with men making up 10-25% of the figures (Sweeting et al. 2015). The most common age for hospital admissions is 15 for girls and 13 for boys (NHS. 2013) and the typical profile of a person developing an eating disorder is a young, white, female, middle to upper class and resides in Europe or North America (Weissman.2007).
Eating disorders are not subjective to certain age groups, according to Micali et al (2017) 15% of women middle aged have experienced some form of eating disorder at some point in their life, with 3% reporting an incident in the last 12 months.
The risk associated with eating disorders include mortality, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rates in adolescence for a psychiatric illness and of those that survive an eating disorder 50% of these make a full recovery, 30% show some improvement, whilst 20% will remain chronically ill (Steinhausen. 2002).
In the western world body image is a large contributing factor to the onset of eating disorde...