Opinion

... in response to What Causes Eating Disorders?
  1. Julie O'Toole MD, MPH Julie O'Toole MD, MPH United States says:

    I am sorry but I disagree with almost everything you have written.  I am a pediatric eating disorder physician who has seen well over 2000 children with eating disorders in our clinic.

    Parents do not cause eating disorders--indeed they could not do so if they wanted to, anymore than they could "cause" schizophrenia.  This belief that dysfunction within the family is a cause of eating disorders or of anorexia nervosa is left over from the last century.  Discard it please and read the genetic literature.

    Having an obese parent does not cause or trigger bulimia.  Were that so, the prevalence of bulimia would be vastly greater than it is.

    I, in particular, appreciate your discussing hormones, but everything you said is merely a report on the hormones themselves.  In what way do you feel ghrelin, for example, is part of the cause?  High levels of cortisol are often seen in AN, but there is no evidence this is a trigger or cause.  It is likely a consequence. Correlation does not imply causation.

    "Eating disorders may be triggered to avoid sexuality"--- how about our many ten year old little boys and girls with anorexia?  Please!  Again, discard these left-overs from a era where hypothesizing and guessing about mental illness passed for science.

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