The Causes and Effects of Anorexia

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Causes of Anorexia
  • The Effects of Anorexia
  • People Affected by Anorexia
  • Conslusion
  • Work Cited


Anorexia is a mental and emotional disorder that characterizes the obsession with losing weight. The first documentation of anorexia was in the 1680’s when Dr. Richard Morton described a female patient, “a skeleton clad of skin” (Dr. Morton). Anorexia was discovered, but did not have recorded symptoms until the late 1800’s (Brunch). For example, Mary Queen of Scotts had a case of anorexia nervosa in her lifetime (Geer). Anorexia has many causes and effects and it affects many people.

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The Causes of Anorexia

To begin with, anorexia has many causes. Poor body image is one of the main causes of anorexia. Low self-esteem causes young woman and men to restrict themselves from eating (Morris). What a person may question about themselves is “Am I fat”, however, some people are willing to lose the weight to make themselves “prettier”. Some use laxatives or over-exercising to help lose the weight (Boehm). Others, such as binge eating and/or purging, are also used (Bodell). Binge eating is when someone consume a large amount of food in a short amount of time. Purging is to get rid of food that has been consumed by vomiting. Other reasons why people become anorexic is because of professions such as ballet deals with flexibility (Morris). In conclusion, anorexia can be caused by a number of events and jobs.

The Effects of Anorexia

In addition to those causes, there are effects. Some of the effects are physical and/or symptoms of being anorexic. Such as having thin hair and nails (“Anorexia nervosa”). Another could be easily being bruised (“Anorexia nervosa”). Without the nutrients, the body of someone anorexic has weak muscles and poor blood flow. Even though physical effects are shown, there are also body damages that comes with being anorexic. Some damaged to the body can be to the following: brain, nerves, heart, kidneys, bodily fluids, and much more (“Anorexia nervosa”). If a currently carrying mother was to be anorexic, then there is a high chance of the mother to have a miscarriage. Even though that someone would want to lose the weight to feel better about themselves, there are physical and internal damage to the body when it comes to being anorexic.

People Affected by Anorexia

Last but not least, there are people who was/are affected by anorexia. Some of the woman in the past had struggled with anorexia. Currently, there are men and woman who have anorexia. “11.5% among females and 1.8% among males. Symptomatic AN [Anorexia Nervosa] showed the earliest onset with a considerable proportion of cases emerging in childhood” (Nagl). There are more woman then men that have anorexia because of what woman have seen in the past. Such as models and singers who has a small figure and was showcased for it. Eating disorders affect many such as children to adolescents. Race and gender doesn’t play into the eating disorders (Nagl). Anorexia can affect people from the age 5 to 40.


In conclusion, anorexia has causes and consequences to it as well as affect many people. It affected many people in the past and people today. The effects of it is very damaging to the body externally and internally. It can affect anybody from any age. Anorexia is a mental disorder that has high mortality rates due to the causes, the effects, and the people that are affected.

Work Cited

  • “Anorexia nervosa.”, 1 Feb. 2018,
  • Bhanji, Sadrudin and V. B. Newton. “Richard Morton’s Account of “Nervous Consumption.” International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 4, no.4, Nov. 1985, pp. 589-595. EBSCOhost.
  • Bodell, Lindsay P., et al. “Examining Weight Suppression as a Predictor of Eating Disorder Symptom Trajectories in Anorexia Nervosa”. International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol.49, no. 8, Aug. 2016, pp. 753-763. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1002/eat.22545.
  • Boehm, Ilka, et al. “Effects of Perceptual Body Image Distortion and Early Weight Gain on Long-Term outcome of Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa.” European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 25, no. 12, Dec. 2016, pp. 1319-1326. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s00787-016-0854-1
  • Geer, Eliza. Endocrine and Neuropsychiatric Disorders, An issue of Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics. Elsevier health Sciences 2013.
  • Nagl, Michaela, et al. “Prevalence, Incidence, and Natural Course of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa among Adolescents and Young Adults.” European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 25, no. 8, Aug. 2016, pp. 903-918. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s00787-015-0808
  • Morris, Jane, and Sara Twaddle. “Anorexia Nervosa.” BMJ: British Medical Journal, vol. 334, no. 7599, 2007, pp. 894–898. JSTOR, JSTOR,

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