How to Identify Eating Disorders in Children and Teenagers
Most of us are aware that eating disorders are becoming more prevalent but this trend would also seem to be increasing in children. These disorders can often be life threatening and even more so where children are involved.
Why the Increase in Eating Disorders in Children?
Just like adults, they are prone to the pressures of media stereotypes where being rake like is the norm and anything else is simply deemed over-weight. It would also seem that if a parent or an adult close to them has suffered an eating disorder then the child is more likely to contract the disorder as they strive to copy their role models. It is also the case that competitive aspects of life such as football, gymnastics dancing etc. can feed an eating disorder in children problem. We generally associate anorexia with girls but it is becoming more and more common to see this disease get a hold on boys.
These children do not want to stray from the so called “norm” and if they do, they have a feeling of being over-weight or fat which compounds the potential problems. It is also possible that some children or teens with anorexia may also try to hide their problem by binge eating with subsequent purging and this could develop into a bulimia condition. An eating disorder in children may be more likely to develop by those that have suffered abuse whether it was physical, mental or sexual. Whatever the reasons that this unwelcome trend has started to emerge, as responsible adults we must keep a close eye on any potential signs of an eating disorder in children developing so that early remedial action and medical advice can be sought.
Any expression from a child about the need to go on some sort of diet could be an early sign of a possible eating disorder problem but at the least, a valid reason for concern.