Eating disorders among children are increasing rapidly all over the world. This Buzzle article talks about the various types of this disorder, their causes, symptoms, and the treatment.
Eating disorder can be defined as a condition that affects a person’s eating habits and further his daily life. These changes and disturbances can actually spoil the person’s entire life. Now, it’s not only the adults that suffer from eating disorders, but children also get affected by them and experience several other health problems.
- Bulimia Nervosa: Bulimia nervosa is characterized by overeating high-calorie foods or fatty foods and then burning those calories either by over exercising and workouts, or by vomiting the entire stuff. Bulimia nervosa actually occurs on an account of the feeling of being overweight and out of shape. Children on one hand, are ashamed of being shapeless, but at the same time, cannot resist temptations of high-calorie foods. They think that over exercising or vomiting the food would balance their weight as well as temptation. However, this is completely wrong and proves extremely dangerous for the health.
- Anorexia Nervosa: Females between the age of 14-18 are most widely affected by this type of eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa develops due to a feeling of being overweight and shapeless. However, over here the individual tries to starve himself. This leads to an unhealthy weight loss while inviting many other health problems.
- Binge Eating: Unrestricted eating without the fear of gaining weight or excessive fat, constitutes the binge eating disorder. This is therefore, quite similar to bulimia nervosa! However, the child with this disorder doesn’t care, if he is overweight or obese.
Eating disorders are primarily associated with a child’s thinking pattern and attitude. Each child has his own reason of eating less or eating more! Therefore, there are several reasons behind these disorders in kids. Some of them are listed below.
- Social fears
- Bullying and teasing by others
- Low self-esteem
- Fearing adulthood
- Pressure of fulfilling expectations of the family/society
- Bombardment of advertises promoting slim and trim body, importance of perfect shape, etc.
- Anxiety and accumulated anger.
Signs and Symptoms
- Over exercising
- Excessive starving
- Restrictive eating behavior
- Being afraid of putting on weight and therefore eating very less
- Inferiority complex of being overweight or underweight
- Insisting on having meals alone
- Isolating from family and friends
- Feeling depressed all the time, due to a past incident
- Wearing over-sized clothes to hide fat
- Voluntary vomiting after meals and using laxatives to lose weight.
Treatment is actually quite a tough task! However, the disorder needs to be treated promptly, as there are many serious health disorders awaiting at later stages.
- First and the foremost thing is that, parents should not force children to eat even when they are full and also, allow them to eat, whenever they feel hungry.
- Inculcate the importance of a balanced diet, proper height and weight, and regular exercises.
- Teach the importance of positive approach towards other children.
- Let not children starve unnecessarily.
- Stop teasing and criticizing kids for their looks and appearance.
- Most importantly, understand them. They are children, they are not grown up adults, who understand everything! Be aware of the fact that, your young ones are undergoing physical and mental changes and therefore might eat more or less.
They have the entire life to go! Therefore, if they fall prey to such disorders in such a young age, then definitely they will be the sufferers in their future. Hence, as responsible parents, it is your duty to help children come out of such problems and encourage them to lead a healthy and stress-free life.