One of the common misconceptions about eating disorders is the relationship to thinness. Though societal push toward thinness and unusual body types is a source of stress in many people’s lives, eating disorders are not necessarily an attempt toward thinness that has gone out of control.
Sufferers of eating disorders often use dieting, overeating, restrictions, and unusual choices of food as a way to cope with stress or to deal with overwhelming emotions. The acts of starving, binging, purging, or restricting are often associated with some type of attempted control over overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear, poor self-esteem and unpleasant negative thoughts about one’s circumstances.
Environmental, cultural, and even genetic factors do play a role in promoting eating disorders, but none are responsible for the occurrence.