Eating Disorders Health Center

The causes of eating disorders are thought to be both biological and environmental. Genetic studies have shown that eating disorders can run in families, and have also shown that there are several different genetic and hormonal factors in play. Environmental risk factors and social factors also have been shown to play a large role in the development of eating disorders, and professions and social situations where there is pressure to be thin play a large role. Women who have suffered sexual abuse are also at greater risk for the development of eating disorders.

Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
August 8, 2014