237098 Cultural influences on the development of Anorexia Nervosa: Broadening the spectrum to include more than media based factors

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:42 AM

Rachael Kane, MPH candidate , Global Health Department Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Eating disorders are commonly thought of as a relatively new phenomenon, affecting females largely in the Western world. However, the presence of specific eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa is rooted in history as old as medieval times (Miller 2001). Today, scholars tend to blame the spread of eating disorders on the globalization of media that idolizes female thinness. While this is an important part of the role culture plays in disordered eating and body image, it does not take into account other factors that influence the development of disordered eating behaviors around the world. This presentation will examine several cultural aspects, such as family roles, language, development, food, and the spread of DSM IV criteria, in order to gain a more nuanced understanding of the social, political and cultural factors that give rise to eating disorders in females around the world. A systematic review of past literature in combination with analytical techniques allows the author to isolate factors that shape the growth of Anorexia Nervosa. Additionally, the presentation will present historical trends in the disorder that attributed to today's manifestation of disordered eating. Further research is desperately needed to develop preventative interventions that address the range of cultural practices that affect this disease.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the cultural preoccupation with restricted food intake throughout history. Describe the spread of Anorexia Nervosa diagnoses around the world. Discuss solutions to the rise of eating disorders that focus on a multitude of cultural factors.

Keywords: Culture, Mental Disorders

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have personally read and reviewed all literature and written all content seen in the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.