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Flashcards in Eating Disorders Deck (41)
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Eating disorders

- Epidemic in Western world
- Prevalence has increased dangerously
- Standards to thinness are increasingly difficult to achieve


EDs in the fashion industry

- Several cases in the fashion industry that led to death of models
- Some countries made it illegal for models to be below a certain body weight


Changes in ideal body type over time

- Apply to both men and women
- Desired BMI progressively lower over time


Prevalence of specific EDs

- Bulimia: 1%
- Anorexia: 1%
- Binge eating: 3%
- Other ED: 5%


Key features of EDs

- Body Image Disturbance
- Impairment/Distress


Spectrum of disorder

See notes


Body image disturbance

- Overestimate actual body size
- Unrealistically low ideal body size
- Social comparison
- Body dissatisfaction (can be unrelated to weight)


Binge eating

- Eating an unusually large amount of food (1200-4000 calories in 2 hours) - but context matters, especially with the prevalence of high calorie restaurant meals!
- Lack of control
- Typically dessert/snack foods
- Most likely at home, alone, at night, or after unstructured activity
- Often in a negative mood


Purging behaviours

- Attempts to compensate for binge eating or prevent
weight gain
- Can include:
1) Fasting
2) Self-induced vomiting
3) Laxative misuse
4) Diuretics (peeing it out)
5) Excessive exercise (situation dependent and interferes with other activities; inappropriate times and settings)
6) Enemas (injection of fluid into rectum to expel contents)
7) Chewing/spitting out food


Maintaining factors of purging behaviours

See notes


Anorexia nervosa

- Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to significantly low weight
- Intense fear of gaining weight or behaviors to avoid weight gain
- Disturbance in perception of weight or influence of weight on self-evaluation


Types of anorexia nervosa

- Restricting type: dieting, fasting, excessive exercise
- Binge/purge type: binging isn't super often though


Bulimia nervosa

- Binges with lack of control
- Behaviors to prevent weight gain
- Purging
- Fasting
- Occurs at least once a week (for a few months)
- Self-evaluation unduly influenced by body shape and


Differences between anorexia and bulimia

- Major difference between anorexia and bulimia is that bulimics aren't significantly underweight
- More accurate in determining their current weight


Calories consumed during binge vs. calories retained after purge

- Women were retaining AT LEAST half of their calories if not more
- Purging isn't an effective way of eliminating calories
- Ceiling of eliminating about 2000 calories and not any more


Binge eating disorder

Binges without purging, fasting



- Eating non-edible, non-food items
- Usually in children or neurological damage


Rumination disorder

Regurgitation and (possible) rechewing of food


Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

Not eating, for a number of reasons (e.g. forgetting)


Other specified feeding/eating disorder

- Symptoms of AN or BN but not enough for either diagnosis
- Clinically significant impairment/distress


Are eating disorders culture-bound disorders?

- Differences across time: Increased rates in
those born after 1945 than before 1945
- Different incidence across countries: Higher rates in
“westernized” countries (e.g. US and Netherlands vs. Curacao)


Curacao differences by race

- No cases in majority black population
- All cases were in minority white population (most had been abroad to US or Netherlands)
- Larger female bodies are considered more attractive in Curacao


Sociocultural factors

- Thinner beauty ideal
- Exposure to thin ideal (e.g. magazines, TV, movies)
- Friends' attitudes
- Athlete (in a sport where weight matters such as figure skating)


What might protect people from eating disorders?

Sports in general, where weight doesn't matter, might protect females from developing one



- Males comprise 10% - 25% of those with AN or BN
- 10x risk in gay or bisexual men
- BN more likely
- Excessive exercise most common compensatory strategy


Muscle dysphoria

- Preoccupation with muscle size/body mass
- Form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder = preoccupation
with certain parts of the body; perceive parts as irregular or unattractive
- Commonly co-occurs with eating disordered behavior


Genetic risks for AN/BN

- 56% heritability for AN
- 41% in BN


Neural correlates in AN/BN

- Reduced functioning of hypothalamus (regulates eating) in AN; altered dopamine -> change in reward
- Low serotonin -> cravings for BN


Psychological factors (emotions)

Depressive symptoms; may be a cause, consequence or correlate of eating disorders


Types of binge eating patterns

- Dieting subtype: Attempts to lose weight
- Depressive subtype: Attempts to regulate emotions; poorer prognosis