An eating disorder is a medical condition characterized by irrational eating habits and intense discomfort with one’s body weight, body type, size, etc. Eating disorders can range from people eating excessive amounts of food to those who live on severely restrictive diets. Treating an eating disorder is a sensitive yet uphill task.
Obesity is a physical condition that occurs due to an excessive body fat percentage. This condition doesn’t just affect a person’s physical appearance, it also becomes a precursor for several health problems such as heart diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Causes of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a result of a combination of factors, and the exact reason still eludes scientists. However, some common factors leading to this disease are:
- Genetics: Often eating disorders run in the family and are hereditary. Genetics plays a major role in this case and this is an area of research for social scientists.
- Psychology: Eating disorders often have their roots in other psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. These conditions often influence patients towards self negligence which leads to eating disorders. Other psychological issues which lead to an eating disorder are severe body image issues, low self-esteem, perfectionism, etc.
- Aesthetics: Many professions demand a well-maintained aesthetically appealing body that can put excess pressure on the individuals to meet a certain standard of physical beauty. Therefore, many people in the modeling, dance, and aesthetic sports industries often have eating disorders.
- Environment: The environment in which a human being grows and receives nourishment goes on to determine a lot about their personality. Thus, a troubled childhood, history of sexual or physical abuse, verbal shaming, peer pressure, etc. all contribute towards the problem of eating disorders.
- Biochemical: Studies show that individuals with eating disorders show abnormal levels of certain hormones which regulate sleep, hunger, and stress in the body. Thus, hormonal imbalances can often be the culprit.
- Cultural: The need to fit into the societal and cultural standards of beauty is often a reason behind eating disorders.
Causes of Obesity
- Inactivity: Consuming more calories as compared to what we expend can lead to high chances of obesity. Low levels of activity are to blame in this case.
- Family History: Often obesity is a trait in the family. When there are one or more obese elders in the family, the children are more likely to follow in their shows. While genetics plays a part, it is more about the lifestyle.
- Unhealthy diet: Nutrition and diet are a huge part of maintaining good health. If an individual consumes high-calorie foods with negligible nutritional value, obesity and health problems are unavoidable.
- Genetics: Genetics determine where fat resides in the body, the level of metabolism, how many calories are lost in intense physical activity,
- Age: Although obesity can affect people of all ages, its chances tend to increase as individual ages. With age, due to lesser activity and hormonal changes, weight gain becomes more likely. Muscle mass also reduces with age, and this leads to a drop in metabolism.
Irregular sleep schedules and pregnancy can be other possible causes of obesity.
Obesity and eating disorders are both medical conditions that lead to deteriorating physical health. We must educate ourselves regarding these issues from a young age to avoid their ill effects. As we all know, a healthy mind resides in a healthy body and thus, we should always prioritize our health.