In part 1 of our eating disorder series, Rice Psychology Group offered important statistics about eating disorders in children and teenagers. We additionally helped you identify some eating disorder signs that parents around the nation should be familiar with. Now, our team is ready to present more valuable information that can make the difference when spotting a possible issue.
Vomiting and fasting can be huge red flags. Don’t let a possible eating disorder spiral out of control.
Signs You Should Know
According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), 42% of girls in first, second and third grade want to be thinner while 81% of 10-year-olds claim to be scared of being fat. These statistics can be even more alarming when you consider the fact that half of girls and about one-third of boys attempt to control their weight via fasting, meal skipping, vomiting and laxatives.
So, how can you help prevent this from happening? The first step is to swiftly identify the problem. This means that you, as a parent, should know what to look for. The following are more signs of eating disorders:
- Playing with food – We’ve all been guilty of pushing our food around the plate when we’re too full or the meal just isn’t too appetizing. However, if your child or teen regularly cuts his/her food into small pieces and moves it around the plate, it could be the sign of an issue.
- Can’t be found after a meal – If you notice your son or daughter leaving the table immediately after eating and is nowhere to be found, this could be a red flag, especially if they head to the bathroom.
- Baggy clothes become a norm – Clothing styles come and go, but there are some things a parent should keep a close eye on. If your son or daughter has suddenly changed their slim-fitting attire with abnormally-baggy clothes, they could be hiding their shrinking bodies. Additionally, if they spend too much time at the mirror or avoid it altogether, they may be having issues with the way they see themselves.
- Excessive exercise – Even at odd hours or when the weather is terrible. Many kids trying to reduce their weight combine food with far too much exercise. These kids can be found doing sit-ups and other activities at all hours of the day and night. A moderate amount of exercise is healthy, but too much can be damaging and a sign of trouble.
Take the First Step
At Rice Psychology Group, we understand that nothing holds more value than your family. Our Tampa-based psychologists are fully committed to helping you, your child or teen through the journey back to a healthy life. The problem is not always as apparent as you’d think, but don’t worry. Rice Psychology Group is here to help you identify, evaluate and deal with the issue at hand.