SELF – Demi Lovato Shared Her Family History Of Bulimia

Photo: Twitter

Photo: Twitter

Demi Lovato has recently opened up about her family history of bulimia, and Korin Miller for SELF wanted to know whether eating disorders are genetic. I was very pleased to weigh in on how eating disorders, and bulimia in particular, are thought to be passed from generation to generation.

So are they heritable?

Potentially. Twenty million women and 10 million men will deal with a “clinically significant” eating disorder at some point, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. And genetics may indeed play a role, according to Mayo Clinic. But even they didn’t, eating disorders like bulimia are very environmentally sensitive, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF, meaning if you notice one around you, you may be more at risk for developing it. “Bulimia is all about body image, trying to control impulses, and [trying to] conform to body-image standards that aren’t realistic,” Clark says. “It’s possible Demi learned it from watching her mom who learned it from watching her mom. Watching a parent engage in disordered-eating behavior is hugely impactful as girls struggle to maintain an unrealistic body shape when going through adolescence and developing curves.”

To read the full post on SELF, click HERE.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD