Can you give me a brief background on the emergence of eating disorders?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Eating disorders, which can often be life threatening, have been around for at least one hundred years.  With the advent of society's ideal woman being "thin" rather than the hour glass figure or even societies where "fat" is the ideal, women began the fight to be thinner.  Some researchers believe that the gene for the disorder can be inherited while others believe that the home environment plays a role.  For example, if a girl has a dictatorial father who never allows her a say in anything, she may use the controlled eating as her one way of having control over something in her life.  Having dealt with student who have eating disorders, no one theory fits every situation.  I do know, however, that I have had the school nurse send at least one to the emergency room in an ambulance as she was in that much danger.