Anorexia has no specific cause, but genetic predisposition plays a significant (though not sole) part in the disorder’s development. In fact, researchers estimate the influence of genetic factors in anorexia to be between 33 to 84%, with environmental factors sharing some responsibility. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the following may influence the development of anorexia:

  • Social influence
  • Family situation
  • Genetic makeup
  • Developmental issues
  • Chemical imbalance

Anorexia is more often seen in those who participate in sports or activities where body size and shape are emphasized, though they may not be the initial cause; predisposed individuals may gravitate toward these activities.

Ballet dancing

The Scoff Screen

Diagnosis is contingent on several criteria, one of which is that weight loss is psychologically driven. One diagnostic tool often used by physicians and dieticians is the SCOFF screen, which asks the following questions:

  • Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  • Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  • Have you recently lost more than 15 pounds in a three-month period?
  • Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
  • Would you say that food dominates your life?

A “yes” answer to two or more of these questions indicates that an eating disorder may be present.


Get Answers to Your Questions

If you or a loved one would like to know more about eating disorder treatment at The Meadows Ranch, give us a call to speak to one of our trained intake coordinators. We’re here to help.

Call 866-390-5100