Different Eating Disorders in Children

Have you ever heard of eating as a disorder? Yes, it is. A person who eats either too less or far more than what is required by the body is said to be suffering from eating disorder. Not only grownups, even children suffer from different eating disorders. There are different odd eating patterns that children follow, which bring them to be diagnosed with eating disorder. Different eating disorders found in children are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Children, especially between ages 5 to 12 years, suffer from different eating disorders. They become problematic in context to their eating habits. These eating disorders can even lead to major health problems, even life-threatening, at times. Let us have a look at these eating disorders and their causes and consequences, one by one.

Anorexia is one of the eating disorders in which a child denies to eat adequate amount of calories because of fear of becoming overweight or fat. Generally, children suffering from anorexia have a distorted, grotesque body shape. They become dangerously skinny and underweight, and become obsessed with this physical condition of theirs. They often see themselves as being fat and overweight, and further cut down on the caloric intake. Anorexia is extremely dangerous and can even cause the child to faint or suffer from nervous breakdown. Other symptoms of anorexia are anxiety, depression, and being self-critical. Children start exercising and reduce on their diet even when they are so emaciated. Generally, females develop problem with their menstrual cycle in his condition. Anorexia often causes the sufferer to even black out. Anorexia can be treated with help of antidepressant medications and behavioral counseling. Family support and healthy, nutritional diet play a vital role in fighting with anorexia.

Another eating disorder that children suffer from is bulimia. In this condition, the child eats excessive amounts of food and then purges the food either by vomiting or by using laxatives in order to prevent weight gain. These children generally lose control on themselves and overeat at one point; and then feel disgusted and ashamed at later point. Then they resort to laxatives or induce vomiting to purge out the eaten food, to prevent gaining weight. Some even try diet pills, enemas, or diuretics. Body weight of people suffering from bulimia fluctuates frequently. Other common symptoms of bulimia are drug abuse, alcohol abuse, frequent mood swings, sadness, overeating, excessive exercise, etc. Bulimia can be treated with help of antidepressant medications and behavioral modification. Nutritional counseling and family support can also cure this disorder.

Next type of eating disorder that children suffer from is binge eating. As the name suggests, children eat excessive amounts of food items without feeling the need to purge. Children eat nearly everything they get and even ask for more. These children feel like they are hungry all the time. They eat so much that they get overweight and obese at one point. This weight gain puts them at risk of several other diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, etc. Binge eating can be treated with help of antidepressant medications and counseling. Behavioral therapy and psychotherapy also prove to be pretty beneficial in treating binge eating disorder.

To get a perfectly-functioning body, one should always keep a check on their eating habits, be it a child or an adult. One should eat healthy food and that too in adequate amounts. Under-eating or overeating can both lead to numerous problems and disorders in body. Hence, to inculcate healthy eating habits in your children, one should inculcate these habits in oneself first. After all, healthy eating is healthy living.Read more about Eating Disorders in Children.