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Bulimia is a type of eating disorder which primarily affects females in their adolescent and early adult years, though it can occur in men and women of all ages. It is characterized by alternating cycles of binge eating and purging, which typically takes the form of induced vomiting after a binge eating episode to prevent the absorption of the calories. While doctors are unsure of exactly what causes bulimia, a variety of social and biological factors are believed to contribute, including perceived pressure to conform to a certain body image and the predominant value system in a patient’s living environment.