How do binge eating problems develop?
There’s no single cause if you have a binge eating problem. And the link with the problem itself is not always linear.
These are just the most studied psychological, social, and physical factors (which, by no means, claim to be comprehensive of all possible factors):
Following multiple strict rules, along with an all or nothing attitude towards food, creates a cycle of bingeing and dieting, with each promoting the other. The more the dieting, the more the binges and so on.
2. CHARACTER TRAITS
Some character traits are common among people with binge eating issues:
- Low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness.
- Perfectionism (including the dietary goals they set for themselves).
- Highly self-critical.
3. WEIGHT AND BODY SHAPE CONCERNS
Many people who binge eat are dissatisfied and extremely concerned about their shape and weight.
Confidence and feeling of worthiness are often deeply rooted in the belief that one must be physically attractive and thin.
4. AGE, ADOLESCENCE AND PUBERTY
A large part of binge eating problems develop during the teenage years or as young adults.
There could be different reasons for this, such as:
- Dieting often starts in this part of life.
- Puberty can bring significant body shape changes which not always match which the thin body ideal women are pressured to pursue.
- Life changes such as leaving home to go to college and facing the first challenges away from home, etc.
5. EATING CONCERNS AND DISORDERS WITHIN THE FAMILY
For example, mirroring a parent’s eating behaviour, or a parent putting pressure on their daughters to follow certain eating choices or join then on a diet.
6. TRAUMATIC EVENTS
Deaths, separations, physical illness, sexual and physical abuse, bullying and body shaming, and many other traumatic events.
7. DIFFICULTIES WITH RELATIONSHIPS
For example, difficulty to make friends or share feelings, parental conflicts in the family.
Women seem to be more impacted, with one major reason like to be the fact that dieting is much more common among women than men, along with the social pressure to be slim, which is stronger on women.
Does any of them surprise you?
If this was helpful, let me know in the comments.
Would you like sharing about this and other issues with like-minded women and doing some journaling together?
Why not joining The Mindful Body Women Circle? It’s a group support for women who want to increase the confidence in their body, and learn to enjoy eating again, without guilt.
Click here if you’d like to find out more!