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How do I know if a child has an eating disorder?
Posted by Jayson Hunter, Last modified by on 22 April 2011 11:18 AM
Persons with eating disorders often have an intense fear of weight gain and are usually obsessed with food, weight, dieting and possibly exercise. Other warning signs include:excessive concern about weight,frequent weighing,feeling fat when not overweight,unusual eating habits or rituals,obsession with food, calories, recipes,restricting food choices to "diet" foods. Other signs are depression and irritability,guilt or shame about eating, noticeable weight loss and frequent weight fluctuations. Irregular menstruation or loss of periods, evidence of vomiting(recession of gums, erosion of teeth enamel). Eating disorders are not just about food, shape or weight. Individuals with eating disorders often have low self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy. Individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa will deliberately starve themselves. They deny hunger and refuse to eat or eat very small portions. People struggling with bulimia will binge eat and then try to purge the food through vomiting, laxative use, or excessive exercise as a way to control weight gain. If you suspect a child you know has an eating disorder, speak with their parent and recommend that they see their family doctor who may refer them to a hospital dietitian specializing in eating disorders.
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