Can Eating Disorders Be Predicted?

A recent study found that there are three primary categories that disordered eating behaviors can either develop from or not develop from, starting in adolescence:

  • Asymptomatic: those who have no symptoms of disordered eating behaviors
  • Dieting Group: those who were actively pursuing weight loss
  • Disordered eating group: those who engaged in disordered eating behaviors symptomatic of diagnosable eating disorders such as binging and purging

Most eating disorders begin to develop at the young, pre-pubescent age and develop into adulthood. The study sought to investigate the patterns of adolescent behaviors and how they transitioned into adulthood. What the researchers found is revealing to the evolution of eating disorders and how early intervention could be essential for long term recovery.

For the asymptomatic group, those who had no symptoms at all, the researchers found that only a little over half (about 60%) stayed asymptomatic and did not develop an eating disorder later on in life. Adolescents who are not preoccupied with dieting or begin to participate in disordered eating behaviors in their critical developmental years are less likely to develop an eating disorder later in life. The remaining 40% might experience trauma, another mental health condition, or other extreme circumstances in life which lead to developing an eating disorder.

75% of those who belonged to one of the disordered eating behaviors groups, either dieting or disordered eating, continued to be in one of those two categories later on in life. Eating disorders have been discovered to thrive in the habit-forming part of the brain. Deeply rooted in in the brain, changing disordered thinking about eating habits, and disordered behaviors for eating habits, is hard to do. When eating disorder habits and thinking develops at an adolescent age, it can be difficult to stop later on in life.

Interestingly, the study found that a critical component in the development of an eating disorder was self-esteem. “Those with higher self-esteem in adolescence tended to have a decreased chance of transitioning from the asymptomatic group to the disordered eating group in adulthood.” In contrast, those who struggled with depression, dysfunctional family systems, family weight issues, or other circumstances, had lower self-esteem in adolescence and were more likely to develop an eating disorder through to adulthood.

Eating disorders are challenging to overcome but it is not possible. Addiction and alcoholism are commonly co-occurring with eating disorders. If you are struggling with both, recovery is possible and help is available. Call Enlightened Solutions today for information on our integrative treatment programs for healing mind, body, and spirit, as you make your journey to recovery. Healing is waiting. 833-801-5483.


Size Isn’t Everything

Imagine if the whole world ran on the principle of size the way that the fashion industry forces us to do. The entirety of the world’s systems would be changed. Classrooms wouldn’t run by age but perhaps by weight and height. Job promotions would be given out not based on performance but on shoe size or length of hair. Medical treatment in an emergency room might be based on shirt size rather than urgency. It might seem silly to think about. For the millions of men and women suffering from negative body image, size matters. In fact, size is everything.

Get Over the Size Thing

An obsession with size is literally waking up and making the decision on how worthy or unworthy one is based on what clothing size they will be able to fit into that day. If there was a daily regulatory process where everyone was weighed and measured, then told how they should a) feel about themselves b) feel about others and c) be treated by the rest of the world, there would be an outcry. Due to years of pressure from the fashion industry, unfortunately, many people feel that they deserve this kind of treatment. Sadly, they are unable to recognize that the only one stamping them with their daily evaluation is themselves.

According to a recent survey by Yahoo, 71% of women surveyed (about 1,000) didn’t even know what size clothing they should be wearing. However, when women don’t fit into the size they think they should, they experience shame, guilt, and disappointment. The size on their clothes, when it doesn’t fit the ideal standard, brings on feelings of shame about oneself and one’s body.

Ignore the Shaming

It really seems quite preposterous. Yet, mainstream society has created a valuation of women based on beauty, which is in part founded by size. Where did this madness start? Multiple documentaries like America The Beautiful have investigated. What lies beneath a global obsession for thinness is the penny pinching efforts of fashion labels. In an effort to save money on expensive fabrics being used for fashion shows, designers turned to models with smaller sizes in order to make smaller close, hence less fabric. That’s it. As a result, there’s a global insecurity with size, shape, and body image.

Enlightened Solutions is a certified dual diagnosis treatment facility offering care and recovery to those suffering from substance use disorders and mental health disorders such as an eating disorder. Body image, eating disorder, and substance abuse often come hand in hand. We’re here to help you find a healthy view on yourself, love yourself, and accept yourself again. For more information, call 833-801-5483 today.