What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders (EDs) in children and adolescents are serious psychological conditions that cause changes in eating habits and can lead to serious or even life threatening health problems.
There are three main types of eating disorders:
1. Anorexia nervosa, a condition in which a child refuses to eat adequate calories out of an intense and irrational fear of becoming fat and subsequently becomes underweight
2. Bulimia nervosa, a condition in which a child eats large quantities of food (binge eating) and then purges the food by vomiting or using laxatives to prevent weight gain
3. Binge eating disorder, a condition in which a child engages in binge eating, but without purging
What are the Signs of an Eating Disorder in Children and Teens?
Eating disorders typically develop during adolescence or early adulthood. However, they can start in childhood too. They are much more common in girls, but do affect boys as well.