Contributing Factors

Factors Contributing to Eating Disorders

No single cause of eating disorders has been discovered, but a number of factors, especially when they occur together, can put someone at risk for developing one. Many people with eating disorders begin these behaviors to try to fix problems in their lives. Common factors include:

  • Major life transitions, such as going away to school or the death of a loved one
  • Family problems
  • Social or romantic problems
  • A traumatic event
  • Failure at work or school
  • A history of dieting
  • Society’s preoccupation with thinness and negative attitude toward those who are overweight
  • Biological factors such as genetics and hormones