Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorders affect a large population between the ages of 14 to 30. Body images issues, instances of shaming and bullying on social media can drive people to problems and even impact their mental health. However, what many don’t realize is that the disorder stems from adolescence, just when kids tend to be picky and fixated about their eating habits.
Pay attention to your teen’s eating habits:-
Eating disorders can often be a sign of emotional distress and further result in medical complications. Hence, it is very important to identify the problems at the very start and treat them with care. Here are some silent signs of eating disorders parents and family should not ignore:
1.Your child doesn’t eat but takes interest in cooking
Kids helping out in the kitchen is a way of socialising and participating in activities but children suffering from eating disorders often tend to take a proactive interest in meal prepping to fulfill their need of control. It might seem strange but this symptom is not uncommon at all.
2.Your child starts to lose weight or weight remains stagnant
Healthy weight gain is one of the signs of a good growth spurt in teenagers, which continues well into the early 20s. However, if your child does not put on weight or the number remains stagnant, it can be an early spotting sign of an eating disorder. If all other growth aspects are well checked, consult a doctor or a counselor to find out the root cause.
3. Avoids eating meals with the family
Eating disorders often come out of compulsive behaviours and forces people to be extremely picky and meticulous about what they eat. This can drive them to avoid certain meals altogether or isolate themselves from occasions where they will be in a spot to eat food which they term “unhealthy”. If your child picks food apart at the dinner table or insists on eating food all by themselves, away from others, it should be a warning sign for you.
4. He/She is extremely picky about eating food
Eating disorders also manifest into unusual behaviours and patterns which can be easy to spot. While children are often picky about keeping healthy veggies away, those suffering from an eating disorder tend to do away with whole categories of food groups at once. They often consume a lot of condiments or even develop obsessive habits like cutting food into tiny parts. All of these can be signs of Anorexia, which makes people obsess about their weight and what they eat.
This article first appeared in the ‘Times of India’.
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