Backgrounders and reports

Eating disorders and trauma, EVA notes

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The August edition of EVA Notes provides a brief overview of three common eating disorders, and the link between eating disorders and trauma. Anyone of any gender, age, race, size, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation can develop an eating disorder. However, eating disorders are much more common in women than men, and peak in adolescence and early adulthood.

The cause of eating disorders is unknown, but research suggests they arise from a complex interaction of biological, psychological and environmental factors, including the widespread societal fixation on thinness and prevalence of “fat shaming” – discrimination, criticism and harassment aimed at individuals because of their weight. Researchers have also established that many of those diagnosed with an eating disorder have experienced some sort of trauma, including bullying, sexual and physical abuse, and domestic violence.

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