Many people can have disordered patterns of eating without necessarily going on to develop the full-blown symptoms of anorexia or bulimia. Disordered eating usually peaks when women go to college with one study estimating that 28% of girls at college were obsessed with their weight. College can be a stressful time for a lot of people as they move away from home and face the burdens of studying. An in-depth study of 15 college women in America found that they chose disordered patterns of eating as a method of control when they lacked connected and close relationships with others. When they had meaningful relationships with other people they ate in a more healthy manner.
Budd, Geraldine - Disordered eating : young women's search for control and connection Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing 20(2), 96-106