The causes of eating disorders can vary, including genetics and biology. Genetic factors may increase the risk, while changes in brain chemicals may also play a role.
Anorexia and bulimia nervosa have traditionally been viewed as distinct from obesity and have been considered culturally bound syndromes of Western societies, attributed to an excessive focus on weight, appearance, and body shape.
Obstructive sleep apnea, which is linked to obesity, is a sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing due to restricted or blocked upper airways. This disruption to sleep quality can lead to frequent awakenings during the night.
Obesity is not classified as a mental illness, but it is associated with various mental health problems. Additionally, the pressure of living in a society that values thinness can harm the mental health of individuals, regardless of their mental well-being.
Down syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome are common genetic diagnoses that cause syndromic obesity. Down syndrome involves an extra chromosome 21, leading to a higher likelihood of obesity in childhood. Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by chromosomal deletion or methylation issues within a specific region, resulting in obesity as well.