Environmental and genetic risk factors for eating disorders: what the clinician needs to know

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2009 Jan;18(1):67-82. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2008.07.003.


Patients and families often are aware of research on genetic factors influencing eating disorders. Accurate interpretations of research on environmental and genetic risk factors can be empowering to patients and families; however, misinterpretations could prove detrimental. Clinicians who are not versed in genetic research may believe they are ill prepared to discuss the nuances of genetic research with patients and families. In this article the authors discuss what is known about genetic and environmental risk factors with an emphasis on gene-environment interplay to improve clinicians' comfort level in discussing these complex issues with their patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / genetics*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Life Change Events
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Prejudice
  • Self Concept
  • Social Environment*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Temperament