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The Sensitive Topic of Eating Disorders In Teenagers

by | February 8, 2019

Eating disorders in teenagers are a difficult subject to talk about with them, especially with the internet at their fingertips. The glamorization of eating disorders in the media is destructive and frankly, the damage done through this is irreversible. By being aware of the warning signs of an eating disorder, having an open line of communication between you and your teenager, and knowing where to seek help if needed, you are ensuring that you will be prepared should the unfortunate situation arise. Here is what you need to know about eating disorders in teenagers and how to talk about it with them.   

Eating Disorders In Teenagers
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The Sensitive Topic of Eating Disorders In Teenagers

There are three major classifications of eating disorders which are anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and binge eating. According to WebMD,

“A teen with anorexia refuses to stay at normal body weight. Someone with bulimia has repeated episodes of binge eating followed by compulsive behaviors such as vomiting or the use of laxatives to rid the body of food. Binge eating is characterized by uncontrolled overeating.”

Eating disorders in teenagers may come in waves and can appear in varying degrees of severity. Today, there are at least 30 million Americans who suffer from an eating disorder. This alarming number does not only affect teenage girls, but people of all ages, genders, races, and walks of life.

In order to provide a safe and body-positive environment for your teenager, follow these three steps:

  1. Present yourself as a body-positive role-model for your teenager. By setting the proper example from a young age, you can encourage your teen to feel comfortable in their own skin.
  2. Don’t give backhanded compliments about their body, how much/little they are eating, or their mental state. Compliment less superficial things. Instead of mentioning their weight, mention an improvement in their mood or energy levels.
  3. Encourage an open dialogue where they can freely express how they are feeling without fear of judgment or punishment.

If you think your teenager is suffering from an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to reach out to either their general care doctor or a health specialist in order to ensure that they get the help they need. You can find great resources on nationaleatingdisorders.org for general questions.

Have you talked to your teenager about eating disorders? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below.


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Gabriella Anaya

News Editor | Limoges, France | [email protected]

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One Response to “The Sensitive Topic of Eating Disorders In Teenagers”

  1. The Sensitive Topic of Eating Disorders In Teenagers – Raise Vegan | Binge Eating Disorder
    February 8th, 2019 @ 9:25 am

    […] The Sensitive Topic of Eating Disorders In Teenagers – Raise Vegan […]

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