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Eating Disorders: Lifespan Perspectives

A lifespan perspective of eating disorders supposes that in genetically vulnerable individuals, eating disorders can be expressed at any given time across the life course in response to certain developmental and/or environmental changes. Furthermore, it suggests that there are unique challenges in the detection and treatment of eating disorders at varying developmental stages. Indeed, eating disorders exist across the lifespan, and the symptom presentation, course, and treatment can differ depending on the age and development of the individual. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), takes a lifespan approach, aggregating child and adult disorders under one general category titled Feeding and Eating Disorders. This broad classification includes eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge ...

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