Also Parents who Only Mean Well Can Give their Children Eating DisordersInvestigations of the childhood of people with eating disorders does not indicate that they have been seriously neglected. Ordinary terms like "lack of love" do not help us to understand their problems. Those details which can be found are often very subtle.
The determining factor is whether the reaction to the child's needs was suitable or was only what the parents wrongly thought was the case. Something has gone wrong in those processes of experience and behaviour which surrounded the handling of food and other bodily needs. Initial faulty and confusing experiences have interfered with their ability to recognize hunger and satisfaction and to separate hunger (the desire to eat) from other unpleasant signals which did not have anything to do with lack of food, and from emotional stress caused by many different conflicts and problems.