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    Eating and Teens - The Constant Conflict
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    Parenting Health & Safety
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    15 January 2015

    Eating and Teens - The Constant Conflict

    3 mins read
    Health & Safety
    for Teen
    3879 engaged
    The ideal body type, getting into the slimmest fit of clothes and so on, are unfortunately an obsession with teenagers today. Understand your teen’s reasons for developing a disorder and engage her gently to solve the problem.


    Eating disorders are taking a severe toll on teenagers today. There are generally three types of disorders observed in them today – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

    Types of Eating Disorders

    • Anorexia nervosa:

      An eating disorder characterized by consumption of low quantities of food. Anorexia is more commonly found in girls than in boys. Portrayal of a lean figure as the epitome of beauty, an obsession about maintaining an unrealistically thin frame and an irrational fear of weight gain are the main causes behind anorexia in teenagers today.
    • Bulimia nervosa:

      Again fuelled by excessive focus on avoiding weight gain, bulimia involves binge eating or over-eating followed by getting rid of all the food consumed. This may be by inducing vomiting or working out excessively so that the body does not intake it.
    • Binge eating:

      Eating at odd hours, unhealthy eating habits, consumption of unhealthy food, etc., are some of the typical scenarios of binge eating witnessed in teenagers today. Depression, lack of social acceptance, stress or deep anguish – these are some of the reasons due to which teenagers indulge in binge eating.

    Reasons Behind Eating Disorders and Ways to Help your Teen

    • Peer pressure:

      Teenagers today place a great premium on looking good – or what they believe is good. And unfortunately, slim and thin is seen as an important parameter of this beauty. This has triggered a huge drive to lose weight or not gain any among them. And this is primarily fuelled by lack of eating or over exercising to lose the extra weight.
    • Low self-esteem:

      Good looks are a sure-shot of becoming popular in school or college. And due to the importance placed on the ‘perfect’ figure, most teenagers want to achieve the perfect dimensions to fit into the group. Fear of rejection or being subjected to mockery can be a powerful driver to achieving the results they wish for.
    • Activities of choice:

      When the activities chosen by your teenager require that she be of a lean frame to be successful in it, then weight loss is a natural choice. Dance, sports, gymnastics – etc., all fall into this bracket. Here again, explain to your teenager that there are healthier ways of attaining the perfect build rather than starving herself.

    Consequences of Eating Disorders

    • Psychological effect:

      Given how the internal systems have been wreaked havoc with, it is but natural for the problems to manifest itself in both physical and psychological ways. Irritability, lack of concentration and depression are only some of the problems faced by teenagers suffering from eating disorders.
    • Physical effect:

      Dizziness, menstrual irregularities in girls, fatigue, weakness are only some of the physical problems that crop up on account of eating disorders in teenagers.
    Eating disorders are the manifestation of deep-rooted biases in the physical sense that are drilled into teenagers’ minds. Simple conversation with them is not the solution in this case. Professional medical help combined with psychological counseling is a must to be able to help them in a constructive way.

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