Does Vegetarianism Lead to Anorexia?

Vegetables

VegetablesAfter years of obesity jokes from the rest of the world, Americans are cleaning up their acts and are adopting healthier lifestyles. Vegetarian diets and fitness awareness are so prevalent in American millennial culture that it’s become as big a target for satire as the obesity issue. But, at least this way everyone’s healthier – or are they?

A Healthy Eating Disorder

Analysts from several offices and recovery clinics like the Eating Disorder Center of Denver are noticing a disturbing trend among their patients. According to the latest statistics, at least half of the patients seeking treatment for anorexia nervosa adhere to at least one form of vegetarian diet. This raises the question – does vegetarianism lead to eating disorders?

Why Are You Vegetarian?

Answering this question is harder than many people may think, as several personal variables make research and treatment a thorny issue. Eating disorder professionals will need to painstakingly tease out the motivation for a patient’s vegetarianism, and see if there’s any connection to their condition. It’s easy to see how such a situation can quickly take a turn for the worse.

The Different Vegetarian Options

The term vegetarian also poses a problem that ED experts need to deal with, since it has more than one form. Determining whether limiting or eliminating meat from the diet has any effect on the development of eating disorders require studies specifically targeting every kind of vegetarian diet. Most of the current research on vegetarians only defines them as people who exclude red meat from their diets, which is an inaccurate description.

Researchers need to answer these basic questions before they can reach any conclusive data on the connection between eating orders and vegetarian diets. The best way for current vegetarians to avoid such a situation is a clear evaluation of their motives for being a vegetarian in the first place.