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Mental Health & Eating Disorders

Early Signs Of Eating Disorders In Children

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The Type of Eating Disorder Conference 2019 cultivates the continued development and training for future eating disorder clinicians and researchers. It aims to spark more in-depth discussion and reflection on the subject of eating disorders in the next generation. Information regarding eating disorders is essential as identifying early symptoms can lead to early treatment—especially when dealing with children who may not be able to express their emotions directly.

Eating disorders in children present differently in the cases of older adults. Therefore, parents have to remain vigilant and observe unusual behaviors in their children’s eating habits. Eating disorders can have significant harm to physical health and growth, so how can we identify the signs of eating disorders in children?

Avoidance Of Eating Meals With Family Members

Family meals support healthy eating habits in children. However, children experiencing the difficulties of living with an eating disorder may avoid it regularly. They may insist on having already eaten with their friends or feeling full all the time. Signs that parents have to take note of also are their children’s excessive concern about meal preparation, repeatedly reading food labels and fixation with portion sizes.

Missing Food In Your Home

Children with bulimia or binge eating disorder perform their binging when no one is around due to feeling shameful or guilt. They may hide food in their rooms and consume it quickly. Parents may not recognize the cause of their child’s weight gain immediately. Other signs may include vomiting after eating, usage of laxatives, or excessive bowel movements.

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Children Being Hyperactive Or Feelings Of Restlessness

Parents may recognize hyperactivity in their children as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome (ADHD). But this is also one of the signs of eating disorders developing in kids. It may not come in the form of exercising, like in older adults. They may do excessive moving without a specific goal. Parents may introduce yoga to their children, which is a type of fitness that can also boost their self-esteem. 

Extreme Worry On Their Appearance

When children fret too much about their physical appearance or weight themselves extensively, these habits can be early signs of eating disorders. Children who have eating disorders have issues with their self-esteem and become very self-conscious. They may avoid social interaction or wear baggy clothes to hide their body to other people. Children may also feel irritable or withdrawn. 

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