Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders?

Updated at: Apr 04, 2013
Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are not only caused by irregular or inappropriate eating habits. On the contrary, eating disorders may be caused by imposition of stringent rules on  the dining table, trying to maintain which the parents, sometimes, overdo t

Pratima Sharma
Mental HealthWritten by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Feb 24, 2012

Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are not related to faulty eating habits alone. Disordered eating is often associated with various psychological factors as well. For children it has more to do with their immediate family, especially, their parents. Quite often, parents cause eating disorders in growing adults, albeit unknowingly. Therefore, disorders like bulimia and anorexia are common childhood banes these days.


How do Parents Cause Eating Disorders?


  • There are households in which parents prefer to practice strict discipline in bringing up their little ones. Unknowingly, they might tend to overdo it at times. In the process, kids are transformed into mere puppets, catering to their parents’ wishes at all times. In such cases, it is true freedom that they crave for. As they grow, they have this distinct urge of controlling their lives on their own. They try to fulfil their wishes in whatever small ways possible, and the choice of food happens to be one of them. Since, they lack knowledge on healthy food habits, these tendencies often result in an eating disorder.
  • Parents cause eating disorders by being over protective about their kids as well. As a result, the restrictions imposed on them are way too many. Children often feel extremely restricted and a sense of losing their freedom prevails. They tend to manipulate their eating patterns and regulating their weights to regain some of the freedom that they believe to have lost. In the process, eating disorders manifest.
  • Each and every parent feels that they are bringing up their children in the best possible way. Most often, the internally ingrained insecurities of parents are manifested in the way in which they bring up their kids. Worse still, parents who have suffered insecurity themselves as children, tend to inflict the same of their kids too. As a result, kids resort to faulty eating habits to battle the insecurity. Most often, binge eating is what they would resort to in such cases.

Parents cause eating disorders, but they can surely make an effort to rectify them over time. A bit of resilience and patience on their part can indeed go a long way in completely curing eating disorders in children.


Read more articles on Eating Disorders




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