Eating Disorders for Children & Teens

Eating Disorders in children and teens can lead to lifelong psychological disorders and eating disorders well into adulthood. The three most common eating disorders experienced in adolescence or younger includes but is not limited to:

*anorexia- where the child or teen refuses to eat regular meals or a sufficient amount of calories for immense fear of becoming fat

*bulimia- where the individual consumes an extreme amount of food followed by immediate purging in an attempt to lose weight

*binge eating- the child or teen eats an excessive amount of food at once but does not purge

Although eating disorders that begin at childhood or teenage years are mostly affecting females, 5-15% of teens are males and increases to 35% on the subject of facing binge eating disorder.

Look through this list of symptoms or behaviors that you or a child in your life may experiencing.

  • Do you idolize bodies that are unrealistically small or unattainable that you or the they have seen in the media?
  • Do you feel distress or have an immense fear of gaining weight?
  • Do you feel helpless?
  • Would you consider having low self esteem? 

It is a rarity, especially at an age of immense vulnerability to be accepted socially and physically, that the child will overcome the eating disorder just through will power alone. It is important that this early onset behavior is diagnosed and addressed immediately by professionals.

Anorexia in the teenage years may be the person’s belief that they need to remain or stay dangerously thin and refuse to maintain a normal ,appropriate, healthy weight. This is more common in females, affecting 1 in 25 women in the U.S. alone. Signs to look for include:

  • anxiety, depression, being self critical about one’s appearance on a daily basis
  • dieting even when one is already extremely or dangerously thin
  • excessive or obsessive exercising
  • cycle stops or is inconsistent
  • extreme, rapid weight loss often covered with baggy clothing and or layers
  • strange eating habits or rituals including certain meal times, places, portion sized, preparing their meals and or avoiding social engagements involving food
  • unusual interest in food and calories

Bulimia in teens includes the same extreme fears of weight gain or becoming fat but this involves the child ingesting excessive amounts of food at one time, preventing weigh gain through purging, laxatives, diet pills, etc., feeling less anxiety once they are done purging. Look out for:

*performing these behaviors while remaining a normal weight

  • substance abuse
  • anxiety
  • ingesting large amounts of food at one time
  • eating in secret or abnormal behaviors with food
  • mood swings
  • emphasis on physical appearance or body weight
  • spending time in the bathroom after eating
  • sadness
  • scarring on knuckles on hands from using hands to purge
  • no interest in food
  • vomiting after eating
  • tooth enamel from frequent purging
  • inflammation from purging
  • swollen cheeks

Binge Eating in children and teens includes the same routine of eating an excessive amount of food to the point of discomfort, the only difference being the person does not purge immediately afterwards.

But all of these disorders can be treated and stopped with our team of professionals!  All you need is to reach out and tell your story to our group of professionals experienced in the subject of eating disorders in children and teens. Together, we can help you identify how this disorder may have started from family dynamics or a history of poor body image. Reach out to us by phone or email (whichever you are most comfortable with) and we can help you get the help with moving forward with treatment in order to prevent this disorder from affecting the child or teen into adulthood.

When you are ready, look through our directory and find and contact a professional who is well versed with eating disorders in children or teens. We have provided a directory to help you receive the best possible care to reach recovery and heal your mind in order to abandon this disorder for good. Just one phone call or email away can kickstart you or a child’s journey towards recovery:)