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Research for Eating Disorders

Research for Eating DisordersResearch for Eating Disorders: Eating disorders are among the most common chronic mental disorders in adulthood. The development of an eating disorder usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood. There are essentially three main forms:

  • Anorexia (anorexia)
  • Bulimia (addiction to eating and vomiting)
  • Binge eating disorder (regular binge eating without weight control measures).

Eating disorders often come in mixed forms. The influences that contribute to the development of eating disorders are diverse and range from individual, familial, biological to socio-cultural factors.

Eating disorders: causes, symptoms and therapy

All forms of eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia have in common a disturbed eating behavior, which can result in damage to health. Eating disorders are among the psychosomatic disorders and do not always have to be visible to the naked eye. Depending on the form of the disease, severe underweight or overweight can occur, but a normal weight is also possible.

  • Bulimia/Binge eating disorder (obesity to eat without weight reduction measures) and anorexia.
  • Disordered eating habits, which can result in health damage, are common to all forms of eating disorders. Eating disorders often come in mixed forms.

Eating Disorder Symptoms

Signs of an eating disorder are different for various reasons:

-normal weight, athletic appearance
-seemingly healthy diet
-less noticeable by body weight than other eating disorders.
-regular, uncontrollable binge eating
-fear of gaining weight
-weight-reducing measures
-alternating between episodes of cravings and binge eating
-nutrient deficiency
-cracked corners of the mouth
-teeth damaged by stomach acid
-hamster cheeks (increased production of saliva)
-self-esteem strongly dependent on appearance
-shame, disgust and guilt

The binge eating serves to regulate unwanted feelings such as fear, frustration or anger. Like all eating disorders, bulimia often co-occurs with depression or substance abuse.

Food Addiction Symptoms: Binge Eating Disorder
-binge eating disorder/binge eating
-weekly or daily food cravings
-gulping down large amounts of food
-pleasure or hunger is not the focus
-nausea or abdominal pain stop binge eating
-feelings of guilt, shame and disgust accompany the binge eating

In contrast to bulimics, people with binge eating disorders (eating addiction) do not take countermeasures such as vomiting, so obesity is a typical consequence. This promotes the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Eating Disorder Symptoms: Anorexia/Anorexia nervosa

-refers to an eating disorder that is characterized by the urge to weigh as little as possible and to be able to control eating behavior.
-Self-esteem and well-being mostly dependent on weight.
-Constant control and reduction of body weight
-Restrictive Type: Reduced or denied food intake
-Purging type: Taking countermeasures after eating, e.g. vomiting, using laxatives or exercising excessively
-cardiac arrhythmias
-Electrolyte and hormone imbalances
-organ damage

Anorexia is one of the deadliest mental illnesses or eating disorders. Therapy is always necessary. Due to a lack of insight into the disease, many patients refuse therapy.

What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are usually characterized by some form of abnormal eating behavior. The thoughts of those affected often revolve around the topics of food, body and weight. Depending on the form of the disease, insufficient or excessive eating or measures to reduce weight can be life-threatening.

What Group Has the Highest Rate of Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders usually develop in adolescence or early adulthood. It is estimated that more than one million children and adolescents show symptoms of eating disorders. The number of young men suffering from eating disorders has also risen sharply in recent years. Overall, the diseases appear at an ever younger age. Around 33% of 14- to 17-year-old girls show the first symptoms and warning signs of eating disorders. Typically, sufferers are 12-35 years old.

Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are often caused by multiple factors. This means that various factors play together in the development of eating disorders. Psychologists name biological, individual, familial and sociocultural causes. Biological causes include the influence of hormones and genetic factors. Individual causes of eating disorders include a tendency towards perfectionism or a high demand for performance, low self-esteem or traumatic experiences.

In order to better understand the needs of those affected by eating disorders and their relatives, funding for research is essential. The needs of those affected and those close to them with regard to information on eating disorders, prevention and counseling options were surveyed by means of written and oral surveys. Further information on these research projects can be found here: