Teen Eating Disorders, Diets That Turn Deadly

teen eating disorders











Teens Eating Disorders - By the Numbers

For many fast-growing teens, the problem isn’t losing weight but adding enough to stay abreast of a rapid rise in height or an exceptionally active metabolism.

If this describes you, try not to become too self-conscious, and more important, be careful to avoid the common error of beefing up your diet in an attempt to restore proportion to your frame. In most cases, the “skin and bones” look that makes you feel gawky and awkward today will fill in quite nicely once your growth spurt runs its course, usually as you enter your late teens or early twenties.

Hence there is no sense in developing bad eating habits (which may last a lifetime) for what is likely to be a passing occurrence. For now, eat heartily and eat healthfully—and be thankful you can! But don’t purposely overindulge. Someday, years from now, you may actually find yourself looking at a picture of your skinny teen self and wishing you could have that thin body back!

Estimates vary as to just how many girls are currently afflicted with teen eating disorders. The numbers are difficult to pin down with any degree of accuracy, for a couple of reasons: First, doctors aren’t required to provide data on the subject; and second, so many teenagers either conceal their illness or deny they have a problem at all.

Be that as it may, experts in the field offer an educated guess that 8 million Americans suffer from anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating, or a related disorder.

While a thorough examination of these complex and potentially life-threatening conditions is beyond the scope of our discussion here, you should know at least this much: 90 percent to 95 percent of people with eating disorders are women, most of whom range in age from early adolescence to their mid-20s.

This is you, dear reader! Your generation is bearing the brunt of the very real emotio and physical havoc caused by eating disorders.

Teen Eating Disorders ~ Who Do You Know?

Right now, in fact, you probably have at least one friend, classmate, coworker or sibling who is either suffering silently or in denial. So learn all you can—especially about the warning signs – not only for your own sake but also for the sake of the people you care about.

A support group called ANRED (short for Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.) has published a useful questionnaire for just that purpose. It can be found on their website at http://www.anred.com.

A similar questionnaire known as the EAT Test has been developed by researcher and eating-disorder expert David Garder, Ph.D. Though many of the questions posed in the two documents are nearly identical, Dr. Gardner’s test differs from the ANRED quiz in that it assigns numerical values to the test-taker’s answers and offers an assessment of risk base on the resulting score.


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