Erratic eating habit and unusual patterns in consumption behaviors signal potential eating disorders. Fixation with food and body shape may also indicate problems akin to eating disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), eating disorders are often fatal ailments that cause severe disturbances to an individual’s consumption patterns. Common eating disorders are binge eating disorder (BED), anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
The most prevalent eating disorder among Americans has been identified as BED. It is characterized by loss of controlled eating habits coupled with the inability to control the nature and extent of the food consumed. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) reports that 2.8 percent of American adults are affected with symptoms of this disorder in their lives.
Eating disorders can affect people of all ages and genders. According to the NIMH, an estimated 2.7 percent of adolescents aged 13 to 18 years suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime. The NIMH data also shows that girls are more vulnerable to eating disorders than boys. While the inability to control binge eating habits signals a possibility of serious BED, parents and guardians can take cues from indicators that would help identify the problem in their wards/loved ones. The common indicators are:
Treating eating disorders in teens
Some parents and caregivers tend to misconstrue binge eating habit among adolescents and teenagers as a matter of lifestyle choice or associate it with weakness of character. It is necessary to educate people about how this disorder needs to be treated like any other psychological condition. If left untreated, it can lead to other complications.
Eating disorders in adolescents can be treated with timely intervention. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego understands the plight of an adolescent with BED and provides evidence-based teen eating disorder treatment. Parents and guardians should be watchful of the eating habits of their children. If your teen is showing symptoms of eating disorders, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our residential programs for troubled teens.