Eating Disorders are common with young adolescents, especially girls.
There are all sorts of reasons why these disorders may develop. The main reason is from a sense of insecurity and the association that to be thin is more attractive. Both conditions are a very serious and can lead to all sorts of medical difficulties.
Anorexia and Bulimia
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia is a preoccupation with becoming fat and trying to obtain the perfect body shape.
There are all sorts of reasons why these disorders may develop. The main reason is from a sense of insecurity and the association that to be thin is more attractive. Both conditions are a very serious and can lead to all sorts of medical difficulties. Both are recognised medical conditions so consult your doctor if you recognise any symptoms.
The symptoms are:
• Being fussy about food and eating little
• To binge and them be sick (associated with Bulimia)
• Always feeling guilty, angry and depressed about eating
• Using a large amount of laxatives
• Always wanting to exercise – to an excessive amount
• Avoiding eating with the family or friends – in other words, the sufferer does not want to be seen eating or have the pressure to eat
• Wearing clothes that conceal thinness
• In girls the menstrual cycle may stop or become irregular.
• Hair may grow on the face and trunk.
• Skin becomes dry and over sensitive
• With Bulimia dehydration is a concern
If you suspect your child to be suffering from Anorexia or Bulimia you should consult a doctor. Treatment consists of a Programme of eating and psychotherapy to help modify eating habits. Sometimes a stay in hospital is required.
Obesity is being over weight by a clinically recognised amount against a scale largely related to height, sex and age. Obese people have a tendency to over eat. Obesity can also develop from a genetic disorder.
Obesity usually develops from a family pattern of overeating or due to a genetic disorder. To
help your child lose weight set a good example by encouraging healthy eating at home.
If you are worried your child is overweight ask your doctor to measure and weigh them. Also ask the doctor to exclude any genetic disorder. If all is well medically ensure you set good eating patterns, by example.
There are various centres that can help to educate healthy eating – treatment will be a low calorie diet, exercise and behaviour therapy to establish long term healthy eating and activity patterns. The earlier a child is given help the better the outlook will be for establishing and maintaining a normal weight