Contributing Factors & Prevention

NEDA offers many programs and efforts that are designed to prevent the occurrence of eating disorders before they begin, as well as programs designed to promote early identification, so that eating disorders can be treated before they spiral out of control. This section explores factors that may contribute to eating disorders and steps you can take to prevent the onset of an eating disorder.

Factors That May Contribute to Eating Disorders

While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are most often about much more than food. NEDA acknowledges there may be a difference of opinion among experts and the literature on this topic and we encourage readers to explore the topic further, using all means available to them. Learn more.


Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional, social issues, all of which need to be addressed for effective prevention and treatment. Prevention is any systematic attempt to change the circumstances that promote, initiate, sustain, or intensify problems like eating disorders. Learn more.

Click here for an infographic that highlights the influence of the media on body image and eating disorders