Teens and Eating Disorders

If you have a teenager in your life now, there are all kinds of things that you are bound to worry about. It’s actually really natural for parents to worry about the things that their teenagers do on a regular basis. One of the things that you may be concerned with is your teen’s health. All parents want their teenagers to live healthy lives, and it’s important for you to keep on eye on your teen and make sure that he or she is healthy.

One of the issues that a lot of teens have to contend with is feeling insecure about their weight. Unfortunately, this insecurity leads a lot of teens to develop eating disorders. If you want to be sure that your teen does not develop one, then you need to learn what the signs and symptoms are, just as you would learn the signs of cataracts or other aging health issues for yourself later in life. If you are well informed, then you can prevent your teen from having to deal with these kinds of issues. If your teen already has an eating disorder, you’ll be able to help him or her get over it and get back to a healthy state.

Understanding Common Eating Disorders

One of the most common eating disorders that you need to be aware of is anorexia. This eating disorder is characterized by extreme dieting and the refusal to maintain a normal body weight. Most of the time, teens who have this disorder have a distorted perception of what their bodies look like, and this fuels them to continue restricting their food. If you notice that your teen is not eating as he or she should, then you may want to consider speaking to him or her about anorexia.

Another common eating disorder that you should be aware of is bulimia. A teenager who has bulimia will eat compulsively and then purge using a variety of different methods. Some of these methods include use of laxatives, vomiting, diet pills, diuretics, or even vigorous exercise. Most of the time, the teen will engage in binge eating over a short period of time, and it will mostly happen in secret. As much of this is done in secret, it’s sometimes hard for parents to notice the behavior. Just keep an eye on your child as much as possible, and you’ll be able to note when something is wrong.

Yet another eating disorder that a lot of teens have to deal with is compulsive overeating. This is similar to Bulimia is terms of how much food is eaten and that fact that it is done in secret, but there is no purging involved. Compulsive overeaters often turn to food when they are depressed and use it as a coping mechanism. Although eating acts as a way to relive the stress, it is usually followed by feelings of guilt or shame. As you can see, it’s a vicious cycle that goes from binge eating to depression and then back to binge eating again.

Talking to Your Teen

If you are worried about your teens and eating disorders, then you should make it a point to talk to them about this. Your teen may have no idea how dangers all of this stuff really is, but talking with you about it can really make a big difference in how he or she feels. If you spend the time sitting down with your son or daughter and talking over the different types of eating disorders, you could make it much less likely that your teenage son or daughter will develop one later on.