Eating Disorders

eating disorders, in psychology, disorders in eating patterns that comprise four categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, rumination disorder, and pica. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity. People with this disorder believe they are overweight, even when their bodies become grotesquely distorted by malnourishment. Bulimia is characterized by massive food binges followed by self-induced vomiting or use of diuretics and laxatives to avoid weight gain. Some anorexic patients combine bulimic purges with their starvation routine. These disorders generally afflict women—particularly in adolescence and young adulthood—and are much less common among men. Some researchers believe that anorexia and bulimia are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; one study has linked bulimia to deprivation of tryptophan, an amino acid used by the body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Others contend that these disorders are rooted in societal ideals that value slenderness. Rumination disorder generally occurs during infancy, and involves repeated regurgitation accompanied by low body weight. Infants suffering from rumination disorder may re-ingest the regurgitated food. Pica, also found primarily among infants, is characterized by eating various non-nutritive substances like plaster, paint, or leaves. Obesity is not generally considered an eating disorder, since its causes tend to be physiological.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Eating Disorders: Selected full-text books and articles

What Are Major Eating Disorders? Nutrition Health Review, No. 111, Fall 2012
Eating and Weight Disorders By Carlos M. Grilo Psychology Press, 2006
Handbook of Eating Disorders By Janet Treasure; Ulrike Schmidt; Eric Van Furth John Wiley & Sons, 2003 (2nd edition)
Eating Disorders and Obesity: A Comprehensive Handbook By Christopher G. Fairburn; Kelly D. Brownell Guilford Press, 2005 (2nd edition)
Assessment of Eating Disorders By James E. Mitchell; Carol B. Peterson Guilford Press, 2005
The Psychology of Eating and Drinking By A. W. Logue Brunner-Routledge, 2004 (3rd edition)
Self-Harm Behavior and Eating Disorders: Dynamics, Assessment, and Treatment By John L. Levitt; Randy A. Sansone; Leigh Cohn Brunner-Routledge, 2004
Abnormal and Clinical Psychology: An Introductory Textbook By Paul Bennett Open University Press, 2006 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Chap. 12 "Eating Disorders"
Children in Difficulty: A Guide to Understanding and Helping By Julian Elliott; Maurice Place Routledge, 2012 (3rd edition)
Eating Disorders and Cultures in Transition By Mervat Nasser; Melanie A. Katzman; Richard A. Gordon Brunner-Routledge, 2001
Management of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa: An Evidence-Based Review By Chakraborty, Kaustav; Basu, Debasish Indian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 52, No. 2, April-June 2010
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: How to Help By Marilyn Duker; Roger Slade Open University Press, 2002
Women over 50 Falling into "Food" Trap USA TODAY, Vol. 141, No. 2808, September 2012
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