Who is Affected by Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders do not discriminate!

They can, and do affect people of any age, gender, ethnicity /nationality, or sexual orientation. Whilst they are often diagnosed during the teenage years, many people are first diagnosed in late adulthood, or even older.

Many people think that an eating disorder only affect females. Sadly, this means that many adolescent boys, and older males, may be less likely to get properly diagnosed. Boys, and men can/do suffer with similar distorted body image issues as females. Regardless of gender, adolescence brings many bodily changes.

These changes can prove challenging for some young people. Whilst we still do not know the exact cause of an eating disorder, we do know that cause include, biology, psychological and emotional health, and environmental factors like social pressure. Certain factors appear to place extra pressure on young people, therefore resulting in an increased risk of them developing an eating disorder.

Contributing Factors


Participation in activities that focus and emphasise leanness or the thin ideal, modelling, gymnastics, elite sports etc.

Social Pressures

Over evaluation of shape and weight over personal innate characteristics. The cultural pressure to look a particular way. Even with a normal body weight teenagers can develop a distorted perception that they are overweight.

Personality Traits

Genetics can play their part in the development of an eating disorder. Additionally personality traits of anxiety or perfectionism may also play a role.

For more information on Eating Disorders, click here.

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2022

February 28th – March 6th

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