What contributes to disordered eating?
Factors that contribute to disordered appetite include physiological, psychological and social/environmental influences. Food can symbolize love, comfort, security and attachment. It can be a reward or a punishment. Feelings, attitudes, conditioning and economics all influence food consumption and choice. Appetite distortion can occur if psychological or environmental factors overwhelm physiological cues to eat. Emotional eating, or using food to cope, calm or distract from pain is one example of psychological or environmental influences overriding physical cues to eat (eg: eating when hungry). Diet provides a false sense of control in times of chaos and a distraction to life’s difficulties, which is why disordered eating often stems from the desire to control one’s environment. What is fueling the unhealthy obsession with health? Americans spend about $40 billion on diet programs, books etc each year. We are exposed to over 20,000 nutrition messages each year if watching 2 hours of TV
- You emphasize the need for woman to bring masculine and feminine qualities into balance to recover from disordered eating. What does that mean?
- You state that disordered eating often begins in adolescence at the onset of menstruation. What is the relationship between the two?
- Are family meal patterns associated with disordered eating behaviors among adolescents?