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Eating Disorders in Young Children

Eating Disorders in Young Children

Eating Disorders in Young Children is also known as “childhood anorexia”, while eating disorders in teen is also known as “anorexia nervosa”.

These are conditions of eating disorders that can ultimately result in delayed puberty, growth and breast development.

Yet another eating disorder in young children is bulimia nervosa, in which, the children and teen develop the habit of binge eating resulting in overweight or abnormal eating disorders in young children and eating disorders in teens.

Parents can do a great help in supporting their teens and kids to deal with anorexia

  • Remember to rule out medical and psychological illnesses or disorders.

  • Always ensure that your children have a healthy eating lifestyle in which you will also participate.
  • See that your children do not skip meals.
  • See how personal attitudes are going to prevent your child from eating properly like height, weight, style and trend in the adolescent society.
  • You decide the menu, and the child decides the amount of food.
  • Respond to your children’s behaviors and feelings.
  • Encourage your children to realize and understand their own feelings.

Signs of eating disorder

The various signs of eating disorders are: loss of weight and weight changes, irregular mensus, missing meals, secret eating habits, finding the food disappear from the cupboard, thinking of being fat when underweight, exercising excessively, being preoccupied with food, cooking for other people, calorie counting, toilet habits following meals and using laxatives and vomiting to control weight. Other symptoms of eating disorder will involve excessive exercise and dieting to cut on your weight within a specific time and the phobia or fear of becoming fat. Substance and drug abuse are some of the other symptoms of eating disorders in children and teens that has to be monitored by the parents.

Effects of Eating Disorders

Some of the effects of eating disorders are feeling cold in excess, headaches and dizziness, changes in hair and skin color, tiredness and difficulty in normal activities, damage to health like stunted growth, stopping of mensus, infertility, anxiety, depression, loss of concentration, withdrawal and isolation, dependency and over-involvement with parents rather than doing things independently.

Causes of Eating Disorders in Young Children and Teens

Some of the causes of eating disorders in children and young teens are as follows

  • Worry or stress will lead to comfort eating and will result in bulimia anorexia.

Dieting, missing meals, adolescent cravings and malnutrition or disease cravings.

  • Mishappenings like family breakdowns, death, separation in family, bullying or abuse in school and colleges.
  • Control feelings under stress could result in eating disorder and overeating.
  • Other vulnerable events like teasing remarks and loss of friend or in school exams will result as a trigger for anorexia.
  • Children and teens who are victims of physical, emotional and psychological trauma will face eating disorder as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
  • Media exaggeration of maintaining figure and making people more health conscious are some of the reasons causing eating disorder in children and in adults.

Risk Factors involved or developing eating disorders in children and eating disorder in teens are being female, overweight conditions at earlier stages, lack of self-esteem and trying to be perfectionist. Obsession behavior in men is often seen in young people as eating disorders in young children and as eating disorders in teens.

One of the common eating disorder in children and teens is binge eating, which is gorging rapidly on food rather than on rapid and moderate eating habits. This is aggravated by the hype and diet consciousness instilled by fellow colleagues remarks and other factors as mentioned elsewhere in the article.

Eating disorder in young children and adolescents should be identified as something much different from the eating disorder in adults. This is because in children the causes and the problems associated could get more complex and has to be treated differently, unlike as in adults, who will know to understand, realize and respond to emotions and situations.

Some of the dangers of eating disorders in children and teens are serious physical problems and death. This is not possible to overcome by sheer will power; on the other hand, this will power will help in restoring normal weight and eating habits. The best results for curing eating disorders would have been much helpful if treated and identified in the earliest stages when the disorder is not complex.

The only way to treat eating disorder in children with parents and guardians is to ask them to be responsible for the situation and emotions, and help them supportively and guide accordingly as per the guidelines and medications given by the physician and dietician for dealing with this syndrome. Eating disorders is rather a syndrome than a symptom of many of underlying causes for psychological and mental illnesses.


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