How Sexual Abuse as A Child Leads To Overeating

The idea of tracing eating disorders back to childhood trauma was first brought to light in the late 1980s by Dr. Vincent Felitti. After finding initial success with many of his patients, Dr. Felitti noticed that sustained weight loss was extremely difficult for his patients to acquire. Some patients would gain back all of the weight they lost, and some would even gain more weight.

After conducting interviews with his patients, Dr. Felitti started to uncover a correlation between eating disorders and childhood trauma. More specifically, Dr. Felitti discovered that binge eating among some adult women can be traced back to sexual abuse they experienced when they were younger. In some cases, the women knew the abuse was wrong and created a series of emotional and mental obstacles to try and bury it in their minds. In other cases, the women admitted to not realizing that they were abused until it manifested itself in the form of binge eating.