A Diet that is Gone too Far

Asma Sagheer Khan

Department of Home Economics, Mirpur University of Science and Technology MUST, Pakistan.

Nazish Zulfiqar

Department of Home Economics, Mirpur University of Science and Technology MUST, Pakistan.

Iqra Tariq

Department of Home Economics, Mirpur University of Science and Technology MUST, Pakistan.

Fazeelat Nazir

Department of Home Economics, Mirpur University of Science and Technology MUST, Pakistan.

Tayyaba Bashir

Department of Home Economics, Mirpur University of Science and Technology MUST, Pakistan.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder characterized by extreme food restriction, intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image. This literature review synthesizes key research on the psychological, neurobiological, and genetic factors associated with anorexia nervosa. The disorder predominantly affects adolescent girls and young women and can have severe medical and psychological consequences. Research shows that psychological factors like perfectionism, body dissatisfaction, and low self-esteem contribute to the development and maintenance of anorexia. Neuroimaging studies reveal differences in brain regions related to reward processing and cognitive control in individuals with anorexia compared to healthy controls. These neural patterns may underlie the rigid, ritualistic eating behaviors and difficulties in changing thought patterns associated with the disorder. There is also evidence for a genetic component, with studies identifying associations between anorexia and variations in genes related to serotonin regulation, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and other psychiatric disorders. Integrating psychological, neurobiological, and genetic research provides greater insight into the multifaceted origins of anorexia nervosa. Understanding the complex factors that lead to and perpetuate the disorder can inform more effective, evidence-based treatments. Family-based therapy and cognitive-behavioral approaches focused on normalizing eating, addressing thought distortions, and building coping skills show promise. With comprehensive treatment, recovery from anorexia is possible, but early intervention is critical.

Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, psychological factors, obsessive compulsive disorder, etiology, risk factors, weight loss, body image, family dynamics, adolescents, nutritional interventions


How to Cite

Khan , Asma Sagheer, Nazish Zulfiqar, Iqra Tariq, Fazeelat Nazir, and Tayyaba Bashir. 2023. “A Diet That Is Gone Too Far”. International Neuropsychiatric Disease Journal 20 (4):10-14. https://doi.org/10.9734/indj/2023/v20i4406.

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