Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019: Recognizing Eating Disorders In Teens

by | February 26, 2019

This February 25th – March 3rd is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019. More than thirty million Americans struggle with eating disorders. The signs of an eating disorder can be difficult to recognize. Eating disorders pose severe risks to adolescents as they can cause long term health damages and can even be fatal.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019: Recognizing Eating Disorders In Teens

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Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019: Recognizing Eating Disorders In Teens

The Family Institute at Northwestern University claims that almost 3% of teens have eating disorders. While eating disorders are usually more prevalent in girls, boys can also be affected. Adolescents will often hide their eating disorders from family, friends, and doctors.

Here are some of the signs to watch out for that may clue you in that your teen is suffering from an eating disorder.

Skipping Meals

One of the most visible signs of an eating disorder is if your teen is frequently skipping meals or pretending they ate elsewhere. Pretending they ate somewhere else makes it easier to miss the fact that they’re not eating.

Disappearing After Eating

Do you notice your teen regularly disappearing as soon as they finish their plate? They could be headed right to the bathroom to purge the food that they just ate to avoid the calories. This could be a sign of bulimia.

Some teens will take laxatives to help the food pass through their system more quickly.

Wearing Baggy Clothing

Some teens will wear baggy clothing in order to hide their thinning bodies.

Food Stashes

Finding one or two chip packets or candy bar wrappers may not be anything of concern, but if you’re finding bags of food hidden away in dressers or under their bed, it could be a sign that your teen is binge eating.

Obsession with Food or Mirrors

Teens who are struggling with their body image may become obsessed with looking in a mirror, or they may avoid mirrors altogether. Sometimes they will develop new food phobias, or talk about dieting obsessively.

If you suspect your that your teen is struggling with an eating disorder, please consult with your healthcare provider to explore treatment options.

As a part of the Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019, if you have a story on fighting and surviving an eating disorder that you feel should be shared with the world, write to us or let us know in the comments below.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]



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