Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



March 2010

Teenage Eating Disorders, Too Common In the US

by Staff, on anorexia, anorexia nervosa, at risk, at risk blog, at risk youth, at risk youth blog, bulimia, bulimia nervosa, eating disorder, eating disorders, lose weight, teen weight, teenage eating, Teenage Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are very common in the United States, too common according to the statistics. Now we have a major problem with teenage eating disorders. On average 1 out of 50 teenagers has an eating disorder. To get things clear, eating disorder is not someone trying to lose weight by trying to eat less than usual; eating disorders are very extreme eating behaviors. A simple example of mental side of an eating disorder would be a person that would rather run the whole weekend than go out with friends for an ice cream.

There are several types of eating disorders, more common than others are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is manifested when teenagers try to lose weight or maintain a certain weight by some extreme measures like barely eating or eating too much and then vomiting after a meal, which classifies as binge eating. Most people with anorexia have a different perspective of their looks and body shape, they are never satisfied, so the little food they do eat becomes an obsession for them. The fact that leaves uninformed people confused is that most people who have anorexia nervosa are very slim and they don’t need to lose weight.

On the other hand people that suffer from bulimia nervosa are often the appropriate weight or some are even overweight. But also unlike anorexia, people with bulimia eat plenty and then try to balance that using extreme measures like purging and over exercising. People don’t realize that people with bulimia have a compulsion disorder that is forcing them to eat until they can’t open their mouth, usually in secret, and once they are full they start to feel guilt and then purge themselves.

There are other eating disorders; unfortunately no one is quite sure what causes eating disorders. But whatever it is in the end it leaves people in terrible health condition. Just thinking about it will let you know that this can harm the body in several ways. Most people that have anorexia or bulimia will have low blood pressure and little strength, some will even lose hair and women might skip their period. Everything from swollen joints, anemia, lightheadedness, stomach pain, damaged kidneys, tooth decay and loss of the mineral potassium are problems caused by eating disorders.

If not treated well our teenagers might shorten their life considerably. Fortunate for parents most of these eating disorders come with excessively strange behavior that is hard to miss most of the times, but that is almost always when it’s already late. But keeping an eye out for your teen child may help you see this coming and intervene on time. If you do notice a similar problem, no matter the stage of the disorder, a simple therapy can help. But it’s better to go to a specialist, and there are a great number of them, which can help and get your teenager back on track leading a normal and healthy life. Staff