Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría
Print version ISSN 0034-7450
RODRIGUEZ G, Maritza. Culture, Genes and Evolutive Epidemiology in the Eating Disorders: An Interesting Debate. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2005, vol.34, n.4, pp. 541-555. ISSN 0034-7450.
Introduction and objectives: This paper explores Eating Disorders (ED) as a culture-bound syndrome and discusses the environmental and genetic roles in their etiology. The paradox of self-starvation amidst wealth is revised, as well as, socio-cultural pressure of an ideal thin body shape, and the role of a society that exerts pressure for a uniformed body appearance. Finally the role of genes on the pathogenesis is discussed. Methods: The author review the literature about the topic and make some hypothesis about it. Results: Four lines of evidence will be presented to answer these questions.1) an epidemiological review of ED in different historical and geographical contexts, 2) a qualitative summary of anorexic and bulimic behaviors across the human history before their nomination as clinical entities, 3) some hypothesis derived from Evolutive Epidemiology and Darwinian psychiatry explaining their appearance and 4) a review of the current knowledge about the role of genes in the expression and maintenanceof EDs. Conclusions: The influence of the habit, the expression of genes, Darwinian hypothesis and personality characteristics in the ED are described.
Keywords : Eating disorders; cross-cultural comparison; molecular epidemiology; epidemiology.