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Kids Health Info

Your doctor can rule out diseases that can appear to be eating disorders. If an eating disorder is not treated, it can become life threatening. How can I help my child? How are eating disorders treated? How can I get my child started in treatment? Then, the goals will focus on learning about nutrition and normal eating patterns, improving self-esteem, relating to others, interacting with family, and treating medical and other psychological problems.

Having BDD means thinking about what you look like much more than normal. It also involves thinking too much about real or imagined defects in how you look. It is a kind of distorted thinking. It affects males and females about equally. What can we do to help prevent these problems? You may feel you want to protect your child from the hurt of being teased about their weight.

Unfortunately, focusing on your child's body may do more harm than good. Your child may begin to value themselves solely on what they look like. They may feel they have to look a certain way to gain approval and acceptance. Do not stress what your child looks like. Pay attention to the messages you send your child about appearance and weight.

Make your home a place to learn healthy attitudes about food and body image. Stop the dieting, and instead focus on eating and serving healthy foods. Make sure your family eats breakfast, and share family meals as often as possible. Teach your kids to be media literate , which will help protect them from harmful messages about food, eating, and body size from TV, music videos, magazines, and ads.

What are some recommended books? Where can I find out more or find help? Written and compiled by Kyla Boyse, RN. Updated October Back to top What do you think? Take our online survey! Michigan Medicine, E. Contact Us. The Michigan Medicine Web site does not provide specific medical advice and does not endorse any medical or professional service obtained through information provided on this site or any links to this site. Complete disclaimer and Privacy Statement. Search this site. About eating disorders Boys and eating disorders Anorexia Bulimia Binge eating disorder Causes Health and psychological dangers Using medication to lose weight Is my child eating right?

Is my child underweight? Does my child have an eating disorder? The National Institute of Mental Health has an online brochure on eating disorders that talks about current research.

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Read about Eating Disorders on kidshealth. To receive a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, a person would: Binge eat eat more food all at once than most people would normally eat in the same setting Feel a lack of control during binge eating Purge the food by making themselves vomit, fasting not eating for 24 hours , exercising excessively for more than an hour , or abusing diet pills, laxatives , enemas, or diuretics water pills Binge and purge regularly over a period of time Have a self-image based mostly on their body shape and weight instead of other traits People with bulimia may be anywhere from underweight, to normal weight, to overweight.

Binge eating disorder is diagnosed when a person: Continues to binge eat over time eating more food all at once than most people would eat in the same setting Feels a lack of control during binge eating Eats fast during binges Overeats to the point of discomfort Eats a lot when not hungry Eats alone out of shame Feels disgusted with themselves, depressed or very guilty after overeating Is worried about their binge eating Binge eating disorder does not include the purging consistent with anorexia and bulimia.

See the National Institutes of Health guide to binge eating disorders for more information. Weight and height can be compared and plotted on a growth chart. Body mass index BMI is a good screening number that points toward how much body fat a person has. This number comes from a formula using height and weight numbers. It is a little difficult to compute by hand. What does percentile mean?

A BMI around the 50th percentile is about average. A BMI above the 95th percentile is a sign of overweight.

One drawback to BMI is that it does not take into account frame size either small or large or high muscle development like with bodybuilding. A person with a large frame or big muscles may have a high BMI but low body fat. A person with a small frame may have a healthy amount of body fat, but have a very low BMI. A small error in height or weight can cause a big error in the BMI result. Look for these behaviors, signs and symptoms: Eating tiny portions or refusing to eat Intense fear of being fat Distorted body image Strenuous exercising for more than an hour Hoarding and hiding food Eating in secret Disappearing after eating—often to the bathroom Large changes in weight, both up and down Social withdrawal Depression Irritability Hiding weight loss by wearing bulky clothes Little concern over extreme weight loss Stomach cramps Menstrual irregularities—missing periods Dizziness Feeling cold all the time Sleep problems Cuts and calluses across the top of finger joints from sticking finger down throat to cause vomiting Dry skin Puffy face Fine hair on body Thinning of hair on head, dry and brittle hair Cavities, or discoloration of teeth, from vomiting Muscle weakness Yellow skin Cold, mottled hands and feet or swelling of feet If your child has some of these signs, you should bring them to the doctor right away.

In a calm and caring way, tell your child what you saw or heard. For example, "I'm worried about you because you haven't eaten lunch this week. Teens with eating disorders might feel ashamed or afraid. They may think that life doesn't matter.

What is anorexia nervosa in children?

Feeling out of control is also common. What if they get mad or deny it? It is very common for kids with problems to say that there is nothing wrong. Tell them you want to help. You may need to approach them several times. Find out the first steps to getting help for a child or family member if you suspect they have an eating disorder.

There are many pro-eating disorder Web sites, and even YouTube has videos that promote eating disorders. Seeking treatment —this page includes links to more resources, such as questions to ask when choosing a treatment provider and treatment options, getting insurance coverage, and suggested medical tests.

Childhood eating disorders: British national surveillance study.

This is a book all parents should read, whether their children have eating problems or not. It applies to kids from birth through the teen years.

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The advice in this book can help you help your child to develop a healthy relationship with food. Development of eating behavior and its disorders. The comprehension of eating behavior requires questioning and reflection on the following question: "Who eats what, when, where, and why?

The discussion that arises from this question is based on psychological and health issues, besides those involving socioeconomic factors, as well as marketing 2. Studies have shown the influence of family environment to determine the behavior of children and adolescents and, consequently, the development of their disorders, for which the child or the adolescent has a high concern with weight and body shape This relationship was evident in an European multicentre study developed with 1, children and adolescents. This research showed a negative association between the maintenance of a healthy diet and the subsequent development of eating disorders, and a positive relationship between excessive control, the application of strict dietary rules and the individualization of food with the emergence of ED 3.

The individualization of meals by family members -with consumption of different foods in different places and times 5 - may be the result of excessive activities among adolescents 3 or the eating disorder within the family 5. These findings are consistent with those observed in a study of 10, pre-adolescent girls. In this study, the habit of dining with family, on most days, was negatively associated to the first use of purging methods, the binge eating disorder and diets 4. About the family environment, a work showed that there was a greater internalization of the ideal beauty by children when mothers encouraged weight loss 7.

The mass media have a strong influence on eating behavior in children 6 , as well as in adolescents The role of the media, ideal beauty and fashion industry in the development of ED is not clear 7,9. In this context, a study of pre-adolescent girls showed a positive relationship between the habit of watching soap operas and music channels with food restriction and body dissatisfaction, and negative relationship between the habit of watching cartoons and food restriction 7. Another research among 7, adolescents found an association between the desire to appear as a media figure of the same sex with the start of purging behaviors As for boys, eating attitudes and disorders are also associated with the evolution of weight, psychosocial well-being - promoted by food 18 -, the strong appeal of socio-cultural worship of thinness 10 , the social group to which one belongs 19 , besides socioeconomic 10,20,21 and psychological 7 factors.

Eating disorders are more often found in women 22, Some risk factors for the development of these disorders become more prevalent with the increase in body mass index BMI , as well as low self-esteem, dieting, interceptive deficits, fear of maturity and body dissatisfaction The concern with weight 22 , diets, weight-related teasing 17,24 and obsessive-compulsive disorder 23 are also associated with ED symptoms.

Recently, a research of 53 women aged between 14 and 44 years-old, diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 1, also showed that there is a relationship between this disease and the development of disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The authors concluded that women diagnosed with diabetes mellitus type 1, aged from 7 to 18 years-old, were more likely to develop ED Risk factors for the development of eating disorders were studied in female adolescents.

Among the girls that were evaluated, The desire to lose weight was prevalent in In this study, although the desire for weight loss was independent from socioeconomic status, the prevalence of risk behaviors was superior among individuals belonging to the higher strata Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Among the diseases of unknown etiology that interrelate with each other, there are the AN and the BN.

Anorexia Nervosa in Children

They are both characterized by abnormal patterns of eating behavior, weight control and altered perceptions about weight and body 27, In these kind of eating disorders, the concern with food is common. In the study of Nunes and Vasconcelos, for seven adolescents with AN and BN, eating would refer to something negative, such as torture, fear and obligation.

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Still in the same study, food consumption was characterized by the restriction of "junk foods", e. Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized for the desire for thinness, what leads to dull and ritualized food behavior 27 , and a significant weight loss, especially in children or adolescents in whom low caloric intake is reflected in developmental delay The restrictive anorexia nervosa limits energy intake and the consumption of carbohydrates and lipids 27 , while in the purgative one, frequent episodes of binge eating and purgation 30 occur.

The purging behaviors are the use of laxatives, diuretics and enemas, and induced vomiting The psychological state, in this clinical condition, has been studied in a representative sample of adolescents in the United States.

Other Eating Disorders

The authors concluded that there was no correlation between the AN and mental comorbidities, except for the 'oppositional defiant disorder'. Once mental comorbidities are highly prevalent in anorexic adults, the study suggested that the occurrence of ED in adolescence may be a causal factor of such comorbidities in adulthood.

In the same research, it was found a statistically significant relationship between BN and depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety related disorders - such as social phobia and post-traumatic stress - , besides behavioral disorders, e.