Bulimia Nervosa - Causes

The cause of bulimia nervosa is unknown. Both genetic and social factors are probably responsible. Bulimia does appear to run in families, so a child is at risk for bulimia if another family member already has the disorder.

An important factor contributing to bulimia is the social pressure for women to be thin. Advertisements, television programs, and motion pictures are full of images depicting beautiful, successful women who are very thin. Young women often feel that they, too, need to be slender in order to be attractive and ultimately accepted in society. For young women with these feelings, bulimia may be the only way to achieve such standards.

To consume large amounts of food without control in a short period of time.
To rid the body of food by vomiting, the use of laxatives, or some other method.

For some young women, the social pressure to maintain thinness may come from family, friends, or the social activities in which they participate. For instance, modeling, dancing, and gymnastics tend to emphasize an importance on body size and shape.

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