The inner workings of eating disorders

SURVEY – Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating share some common genetic risk factors. Researchers are also following the path of the microbiota for new therapeutic approaches.

Anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating are the three main eating disorders (ADD). Some 600,000 people between 12 and 35 years old in France would be affected, mainly young girls (8% of women against 2% of men). But TCA, all types combined, undoubtedly affect more than one in ten adults. Long perceived as the whims of teenage girls or incurable mental illnesses, the CAW are gradually breaking down these stigmatizing stereotypes. Progress in research is not unrelated to this. By better discerning the mechanisms involved in their development, researchers demystify them and identify possible therapeutic targets.

Whether restrictive (anorexia) or compulsive, TCA has a common foundation. “Food becomes an obsession. For people with anorexia, trim and weight control is a pervasive concern, while people with bulimia and binge eating describe a loss of control.

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