Evaluation of Research into Eating Disorders Essay examples

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Evaluation of Research into Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are the two main types of eating disorders that have been found, mainly in the western world.

The term Anorexia Nervosa means Loss of appetite, but sufferers of Anorexia Nervosa do not actually have a loss of appetite, in fact most of the people with Anorexia have normal appetites and will most likely be very hungry, but they will still behave as if they have lost their appetite. The A.P.A (American Psychiatric Association) (1994) states that Anorexia occurs in 0.5-1.0 % of females in late adolescence or early adulthood.

The main characteristic of Anorexia Nervosa is
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Keesey and Corbett (1983) did some research into the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and the Ventromedial Hypothalamus (VMH). They discovered that the LH and the VMH work alongside each other to create a weight thermostat, The LH produces the feeling of hunger and the VMH depresses the feeling of hunger. If the persons bodyweight falls below the set point on the weight thermostat the LH is activated and the person will feel hungry and will want to eat something, but if the persons bodyweight rises above a set point on the thermostat then the VMH will be activated and the person should stop feeling hungry, and supposedly stop eating. A malfunction in this system is a possible cause for eating disorders (the lack of LH and an excess activation of VMH), although there is no conclusive evidence to support this yet.

Another Biological explanation of eating disorders is that they are genetically inherited. The A.P.A (1994) stated that, from diagnostic statistics, there is an increased risk of eating disorders amongst first-degree Biological relatives (siblings, parents and children). Research done by Holland et al (1984), into monozygotic twins (MZ) and dizygotic twins (DZ), MZ twins have exactly the same genes whereas DZ twins need be no more alike then any normal siblings. The nature of this research was to see if MZ twins have a higher concordance (meaning that they both

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