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Understanding Eating DisordersConceptual and Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa$
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Simona Giordano

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269747

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199269742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 October 2021

Scientific Understanding of Eating Disorder s

Scientific Understanding of Eating Disorder s

(p.72) 4 Scientific Understanding of Eating Disorders
Understanding Eating Disorders

Simona Giordano (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the organic basis of eating disorders, and discusses whether eating disorders are a form of addiction. Gene variations seem to be involved in both anorexia and bulimia nervosa. However, it is unclear what these variations are and how they may interact with environmental stressors to determine the onset of the disorders. Moreover, though there is clear evidence that physiological abnormalities are linked to eating disorders, variations are generally corrected as abnormal eating patterns are abandoned. The relationship between these abnormalities and the onset of eating disorders is thus unclear. This has important ethical implications: it cannot be claimed that eating disorders are caused by organic causes, or that organic dysfunctions diminish the sufferers’ autonomy.

Keywords:   genetics, eating disorders, addiction model, starvation, addiction, central nervous system, neurotransmitters, hypothalamic abnormalities, ethical implications

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