Where do Child Eating Disorders Come From? 

In a study out of the University of Western Australia, researchers tried to identify maternal and family factors that may predict increases or decreases in child eating disorder symptoms over time, accounting for children’s body mass index as well as levels of general psychological distress.

Using a sample size of 221 mother and child duos, the researchers assessed them at the beginning of the study as well as one year and two years later, using interview and self-reporting measurements. Some criteria the researchers were looking for included predictors of children’s eating disorder symptoms, outcome variables including a global index of eating disorder psychopathology, levels of dietary restraint, levels of emotional eating, and the presence of loss of control or binge eating.

The results of the study seem to indicate at least some genetic disposition toward eating disorders as, “Children of mothers with a current of past eating disorder reported significantly higher levels of global eating disorder symptoms and emotional eating than other children, and mothers with a current or past eating disorder reported significantly more concern about their children’s weight than other mothers.”

A few other factors around child eating disorders were discovered including that family exposure to stress and low maternal education were additional risk factors for eating disorder symptoms while child-reported family satisfaction was a protective factor.

For more information, read the full study.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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