Eating disorders can cause serious health problems for kids and children.
Eating disorders in kids and children cause serious changes in eating habits that can lead to major, even life threatening health problems. Their are three main type of eating disorders are:
Most common eating disorder is anorexia nervosa, where kids think that they are fat and they refuse to eat to maintain their body weight,
Kids with anorexia are on a quest to be thin. They avoid food, eat very little, carefully limiting both calories and quantities. They continuously diet, regardless of how thin they become, and may exercise excessively.
Kids with anorexia:
- Have a distorted body image, and they see themselves as overweight when they are actually emaciated.
- Have the need to feel like they’re in control.
- Obsess about weight control.
Bulimia is an eating disorder that affects kids who strive to be very thin. They usually have negative feelings about the shape and size of their bodies.
The bulimia victim binges on a very large quantity of food and then purges — through induced vomiting, laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercising — to avoid any weight gain. Unlike the anorexic, a person with bulimia is not necessarily underweight, so there might not be an obvious visual clue.
Many kids with bulimia:
- Do their overeating and purging in secret and often feel disgusted by or ashamed of their behavior.
- Have other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or problems with substance abuse.
- Binge to deal with intense emotions and then purge to avoid gaining weight.
People with binge eating disorder overeat repeatedly, but unlike bulimics, they don’t purge afterward. They may be at a normal weight or overweight — sometimes extremely overweight.
People with binge eating disorder:
- Eat huge amounts of food, even to the point of discomfort, in secret.
- May try to follow a binge by going on a diet, which ends up triggering more binge eating when the diet fails.
- May feel depressed or sickened by the amounts they’ve eaten and may have other mental health conditions like anxiety.
In children and teens, eating disorders can overlap. For example, some children alternate between periods of anorexia and bulimia.
Eating disorders typically develop during adolescence or early adulthood. However, they can start in childhood, too. Females are much more vulnerable. Only an estimated 5% to 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. With binge eating, the number rises to 35% male.