People who are unhappy with their bodies are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and eating disorders. Eating disorders may have many causes, but research shows that the most common factor leading to the development of an eating disorder is a person’s disappointment with their physical appearance (Stice, 2002).
Eating disorders are complicated and affect people of different ages. All eating disorders have a variety of biological, psychological, and social risk factors. These variables can result in very different views, experiences, and symptoms among individuals with the same eating problem.
Body image issues often begin in childhood and continue throughout adulthood. The beginning age varies by person; some people experience body image issues at a younger age, while other people never experience body image issues at all.
By age six, kids (particularly those that identify as girls) begin to show worries about their weight and form. Almost half of preteen and teen girls, and nearly a third of boys in the same age group engage in harmful weight-control practices such as skipping meals.
Remember, there are many ways to counter the external challenges you will face in your journey to develop a healthy body image and self-esteem. Since Day 1, you’ve had everything you need within yourself – don’t let the world convince you that you do not. Know that YOU are inherently worthy and have the power to love yourself in the way you desire by making small choices and commitments to yourself everyday. Remind yourself of this truth daily. With practice it will get easier and you will likely start to notice a difference in the way you feel. To see BLOOM’s 6 Strategies and learn how, click here. To learn more about Eating Disorders, check out BLOOM’s Eating Disorders section of the hub.