What causes anorexia?

Many studies have already been done into the causes of anorexia. Why does someone develop an eating disorder? What are the causes? It is still very difficult to determine exactly where anorexia comes from. A lot of research is still being done. However, there are some things that are probably related to the development of anorexia. What actually causes anorexia?

This article talks about ‘she’ and ‘her’ when talking about someone with anorexia. However, the disease can also occur in men.

Fashion image

The fashion image is often seen as the reason why anorexia develops. It can indeed be a reason why someone develops an eating disorder. There are many photos of models with a slim body. On TV we are also bombarded with beautiful people that almost no one can match. When you compare yourself to the beautiful models in magazines and on television, you may become increasingly insecure about yourself. You can quickly start to see yourself as too fat, while this is often not the case at all.

To perform

Some people who have an eating disorder such as anorexia have developed it because they want to prove that they are good at something. They often feel that they cannot do something or that they do not have enough control or cannot perform enough. This doesn’t have to have anything to do with food or weight loss. However, it can be satisfying when someone finds out that she is good at losing weight.

Low self esteem

Low self-esteem can have numerous causes. Think of bullying, sexual abuse or assault. Low self-esteem can also arise in someone without any traumatic events preceding it. Someone with a negative self-image will be much more concerned when someone says something about her physique. Anorexia can then be a consequence of the many insecurities that someone already has.


Depression can also be a cause for people with anorexia. They feel so mentally confused that they want to do something physically good or they look for a replacement for their mental pain. Anorexia can provide that replacement, allowing a person to focus on something completely different.


It may partly be in your genes that you are more susceptible to diseases such as anorexia. Research has shown that someone has a greater chance of anorexia if there is someone in the family who already has (had) an eating disorder. .


Education can also be a reason why someone develops an eating disorder. There are several aspects of upbringing that can predispose to anorexia. Consider, for example, a divorce or a very protective upbringing. An unpleasant atmosphere in the home can also be a reason for someone to develop an eating disorder. Sometimes a child grows up with a parent who is constantly dieting. Certain behaviors can be learned, even unconsciously. Severe trauma can also cause an eating disorder, such as abuse or sexual abuse.

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