Eating disorders affect 20 million females and 10 million males in the United States and can be diagnosed in boys and girls as young as seven years old. Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, but are in fact a mental health disorder similar to depression, bipolar disease and schizophrenia. It is not an individual choice to develop an eating disorder but rather severe underlying pathological factors drive individuals to take part in self-destructive behaviors associated with eating disorders. Genetic factors, environmental factors and social factors all play a role in the development of an eating disorder. Interpersonal issues, past trauma, low-self esteem, abuse, co-occurring mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders, and unhealthy family and personal relationships all contribute to the environmental and social factors associated with eating disorders.