Understanding Eating Disorders in Teens

Understanding Eating Disorders in Teens

Published On: January 13, 2022

Unfortunately, eating disorders in teens are dangerous occurrences that are more common than many people realize. The average eating disorder can lead to unhealthy and extreme weight loss, low self-esteem, and other harmful mental and physical health problems.

Helping treat your teen’s eating disorder early is essential for them to avoid serious health problems. And the only way to help someone through the challenges of an eating disorder is by educating yourself on why they happen and the best ways to break these unhealthy eating habits.

So here, we will examine the most frequently-occurring eating disorders, how to help your teen return to a healthy weight, and the best ways to prevent teen and child eating disorders from returning.

Why Eating Disorders Happen

  • Mental Illness: People with depression, anxiety, or other mental conditions often modify their eating habits as a coping mechanism. For example, many people with depression find quick comfort in food and binge eating. Therefore, the best way to treat some eating disorders is to address the mental aspects and implement a diet regimen.
  • Societal Beauty Expectations: Most models and actors in modern western culture are skinny, and impressionable teens will attempt to lose weight in unhealthy ways to replicate that.
  • Genetics: Some researchers believe that teens can receive an eating disorder genetically through either parent. But teens can treat their genetic disorders with proper eating habits and mental health treatment, just like one caused by mental illnesses or societal expectations.

Most Common Eating Disorders

Binge-Eating Disorder

People with a binge-eating disorder will compulsively overeat and struggle to modify their eating behaviours. Mental concerns like depression, stress, or trouble at home often instigate binge-eating patterns.

To help your teen address their binge-eating, try leading by example and avoid using food as a coping mechanism. That way, you’ll show your household how to take bodily responsibility and live with restraint.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder where sufferers view themselves with a distorted body image and compulsively avoid gaining weight. Unfortunately, someone with anorexia might overuse diet pills, hide food, or resort to skipping meals altogether to prevent weight gain.

Similar to anorexia is bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia eat in excess before compulsively vomiting to maintain a slender body shape.

Addressing Eating Disorders With Healthy Eating Habits

Seeking family therapy is a great way to have your teen’s eating disorders treated, but that’s only part of what they’ll need to return to their normal weight. In addition to therapy, you’ll need to offer constant support and find a meal plan that supports healthy eating for teens.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a perfect meal plan for all eating disorders in teens. So you must ensure that when you build a food schedule, it addresses your child’s needs, whether they need to gain weight or lose weight.

Eating disorder treatment is challenging but essential to keep your teen healthy. If you don’t know where to begin, you can look to Bayridge Counselling Centres for assistance. We offer counselling that helps your teen examine their eating behaviour and combat their mental disorders.

Call Bayridge Counselling Centres today at (905) 319-1488 to schedule an appointment or learn more about how to prevent anorexia and other psychiatric disorders.