Eating Disorders in Children: They're more common than you think!

/ Food

There can be days when your child eats a lot, or when your child doesn’t eat at all and this can be because of stress, school, environmental changes, and other factors. Your child might be inclined towards some food more than the other and that’s completely normal too. Howsoever, it is important to keep an eye on your child’s eating habits because your child could be suffering from an eating disorder that you do not know about.

Hakeem fact: Every 62 minutes at least one person dies of an eating disorder!

Here are the most common eating disorders that can be found in children:

Bulimia: In this condition the child overeats, giving in to the cravings and then in order to prevent weight gain, pukes out the food by using laxatives and other means so that it’s not stored in the body. Since the vomit is self-induced, it can harm the body, cause tooth-decay, weakness and other health-related problems.

Anorexia: Children suffering from this condition see themselves as ‘overweight’ whilst they’re actually ‘underweight’. It can be termed as a psychological condition because it is closely linked to depression and low self-esteem. The children, mostly teens, starve themselves because they have the fear of becoming fat.

Woman watching netflix and eating junk food.
Your child will mirror your behavior. If you eat a lot of junk, the child will want it too.

Binge eating (BED): This is the most common eating disorder out of the three. The children emotionally, or otherwise binge eat. This means that they consume a lot of food at once – much more than their body eats. Binge eating can lead to child obesity.

What to do if your child is suffering from an eating disorder?

The first and foremost decision should be to go to a specialist so that the child can undergo treatment. The sooner the disorder is treated, the better the chances are for it to not make a permanent change and psychological impact in the child’s life. A meal plan with the help of a nutritionist should be made to make sure that the child is on the road to recovery. Remember, an eating disorder can even lead to death.

What causes these disorders?

Though the real cause is unknown, doctors believe that environmental and social pressures can take a psychological toll on the child’s behavior and urge him/her to develop an eating disorder. To cope with issues such as stress, anxiety, feelings of not being worthy and even substance abuse, children can develop such problems.

Girl looking at her healthy food in disgust.
Make meals interesting so that your child doesn't run away from healthy food. 

Do You Know? More than half of the BED patients develop a mood disorder.

Recommended Read: What is Your Child Trying to Tell You by Acting Out?

Recommended Read: 5 Creative Lunch Box Ideas to Get Your Child to Eat Healthy


Hello, I'm Ayesha and I would love to hear your feedback. P.S If you want to be featured on the Hakeem website, send me an email at [email protected]!

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Eating Disorders in Children: They're more common than you think!
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