Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Childhood obesity has become a recurring theme in the news today. A variety of issues has been discussed regarding the cause of this popular issue. Emphasis is placed on parents, culture, school meals, and a number of other factors leading to obesity. Children and adolescents are not blind to the attention placed on obesity among them and their peers. If the thin bodies of magazines, TV and media weren’t enough, children now have to face the harsh realities of statistics that are constantly broadcasted in the news. This being the case, many children and adolescents have developed unhealthy means to either get thin or stay thin. Many struggle with eating disorders.
Eating disorders involve a variety of descriptions of unhealthy patterns of eating. All of them involve some abnormal pattern of eating, including not eating. No matter the type or term given the disorder, they represent a serious situation and are a mental health concern. Two of the more well-known types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Both are common among youth. Anorexia Nervosa Description
Sometimes just being ‘normal’ in size is not what an individual sees as normal in himself. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which being thin is not the only issue. It is characterized by starving oneself. Signs include a body weight of less than eighty-five percent the normal body weight for that specific height and age; 3 consecutive absences of a menstrual cycle; and an abnormally strong fear of gaining weight (e.g., “Eating Dis.” n.d., para. 12). A more common outward sign of anorexia is the intense fear of gaining weight. The youth may repeatedly express verbally his desire to be thin, his belief that he is fat or overweight, and a generally twisted view of own size or weight. All of this is typically coupled with an already thin body size. Use of laxatives in addition to severely limiting food...
References: Eating disorders in children and adolescents (n.d.) In Eating Disorders. Retrieved from http://www.lpch.org/diseasehealthinfo/healthlibrary/growth/eatdis.html.
Ellen S. Rome, MD, Seth Ammerman, MD, et al. Children and adolescents with eating disorders: the state of the art. Pediatrics. 2003; 111: 98-108.
Fisher M. Golden NH, Katzman DK, et al. Eating disorders in adolescents: a background paper. Adolescent Health. 1995; 16: 420-437.
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