Parent Alert: The Most Common Signs of Eating Disorders

A suffering anorexicThe scars resulting from disorders such as binge eating and anorexia nervosa can mark a person for life. One’s outlook on life changes and the impact has far-reaching effects not only in the person’s life, but also in the family and community. While some argue eating disorders are primarily psychological in nature, the medical problems can be life threatening. Many become chronically ill, and some become victims of premature death.

Understanding the nature of the condition

Parents should serve as stewards of positive attitudes and behaviors towards eating. They have to understand the complex and multi-faceted nature of eating disorders. Parents should know the early signs of bulimia and similar disorders. By learning what signs to watch out for, they can arrest the progression of the condition, and get their children the right kind of help when they can most benefit.

While the psychological attributes may be the dominant concern, there are other factors involved as well, including genetics and hormonal functions. Recognizing the interplay of nurture and nurture, particularly environmental influences on the individual, is essential as well.

The signs

About eleven million people struggle with eating disorders today and ten million are female. When your daughter starts exhibiting marked changes in behavior towards eating do not immediately think she has undiagnosed bulimia. Chronic dieting is just one sign, and it should come with an underweight physique to be a concern. Yet, be alarmed when your daughter starts counting every calorie and manifesting ritualistic eating patterns. Too much rigidity, fixation, obsessive attitude, and depression are telltale signs of eating disorders when the abovementioned behaviors are also present.

In addition, parents must also watch out for an increasingly negative attitude towards body image. Poor self-esteem and negative body image are dominant in persons with eating disorders. When someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, help is just a phone call away. Watch out for the signs, and do not hesitate to ask for assistance.