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Eating Disorders

  1. Richard L. Miller1,
  2. Rachael M. Broadwell2

Published Online: 17 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118339893.wbeccp182

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology

How to Cite

Miller, R. L. and Broadwell, R. M. 2013. Eating Disorders. The Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology. II:451–455.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Nebraska at Kearney, USA

  2. 2

    Case Western Reserve University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 OCT 2013

Abstract

Eating disorders are characterized by severe disturbances in eating behaviors. The two most common eating disorders in the research literature are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa occurs when an individual refuses to maintain his or her body weight at or above a minimal standard and expresses an intense fear of becoming overweight, a distorted body image, negative self-evaluation related to body weight and shape, and often denial that there is a problem. Bulimia is characterized by frequent bouts of binge eating, use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors to minimize weight gain, and a negative self-evaluation related to body weight and shape. These eating disorders occur as a result of various developmental, sociocultural, and biological processes. Research focuses on how these various factors interact and influence a person to develop an eating disorder. There is some evidence that cultural factors are a primary contributor to these disorders.

Keywords:

  • gender;
  • psychopathology;
  • personality disorders