Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. No one knows exactly what causes eating disorders, but a growing consensus suggests that a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors come together to spark an eating disorder. Once the disorder has taken hold, it can become a self-sustaining process that usually requires professional help and support to recover.
Many eating disorders begin during adolescence, but psychologists and doctors have found an increasing number of young children and older adults diagnosed with these illnesses. The more quickly an eating disorder is diagnosed and effective treatment begun, the greater the chances of recovery.
(Information taken from the National Eating Disorder Association. For more information on eating disorders please visit their website at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org)