A novel study has shed light on a different dimension to eating disorder which seems to have its seeds sown during childhood. Insecure feelings experienced during childhood and the formative years can lead to a negative perception of one's body that can translate into an eating disorder in women, suggesting that the concept takes shape very early due to insecure attachment and separation anxiety.
Dr. Alfonso Troisi and colleagues have discussed this issue in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, saying that the childhood experiences mould the adult personality. Children who have been cared for and felt loved have a solid self-worth and identity. On the other hand neglected children have a very low opinion of themselves and suffer low self esteem.
In their research, Troisi and colleagues from the University of Rome studied 96 women between the age of 20 and 30suffering anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Upon scratching the surface, the researchers were able to discern connections of separation anxiety, and aversion to their body.
To quote their findings, Troisi and colleagues wrote "Our findings confirm that insecure attachment is a consistent correlate of negative body image" observed not just in the young girls but also in older women who sufferd eating disorders.