There is no single cause for the development of an eating disorder. Eating disorders are caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, interpersonal and social factors. Those that display a number of these factors may be at heightened risk of developing an eating disorder.
Studies suggest that anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorders are complex genetic disease, in which the risk of developing eating disorders in first-degree relatives is increased ten-fold. About a third of genetic risk for eating disorders, depression, anxiety and addictive disorders may be shared.
Developmental changes of puberty (hormonal increase, and brain development), stressful events and challenges could trigger eating disorder behavior and the subsequent nutritional deprivation on the developing brain may maintain the difficulties. Birth-related peri-natal complications and premature delivery increases the risk of developing of an eating disorder.
Clinical perfectionism, core low self esteem, mood intolerance, difficulties in expressing emotions, fear or avoidance of conflict, competitiveness and interpersonal difficulties
History of teasing bullying particularly when based on weight and shape, sexual or physical abuse, personal or family history of obesity