Children that overeat do so because something upsets them. Here is what you need to know if you are concerned about eating disorders with your daughter or son.
When discussing eating disorders, we think of anorexia. But what about children that overeat? Some children that overeat purge after eating and others do not. And, some children emotionally eat when something upsets them.
In a complicated, stressful, world it is not uncommon for children to act out in different ways. And sometimes they mirror us. This means we need to strive to be healthy and avoid eating-disordered behavior.
Do you think your child could have an eating problem? We've come up with some signs that your child might have an eating disorder.
Eating Disorders in Children
- When you go through your child's room, do you find hidden food? Many kids leave wrappers around wherever they eat, and of course, this is frustrating. But, are you finding actual hidden food that has been strategically placed in an unusual area? This could be a sign that your child is eating in secret.
- Does your child seem depressed or does he/she create drama in order to soothe themselves with food? Many that have food addictions do. Watch their behavior when they are upset and observe whether or not they placate themselves by bingeing. Perhaps they are troubled by weight changes that occur with overeating, which would explain noted depression or embarrassment at weight gain.
- Does your child refrain from eating with others? This could be because he or she is ashamed at how much food they eat. Perhaps they have already binged as well.
- Do you see your child eat? If not, they might not be. Anorexics often say that they have already eaten when they, indeed, have not. Monitor weight if you suspect your child is starving him or herself. In an era where many children are overweight, at first, weight loss can be a "good" thing. But dieting can get out of control. Girls especially can get carried away with the attention they get when they lose weight. After a while, it is difficult to break the anorexic behavior.
If you notice these signs of an eating disorder, whether it be a food addiction, bulimia or anorexia, there is help available. A visit to your pediatrician and counseling can do wonders. Furthermore, creating an atmosphere of open, uninhibited communication with your child cannot fail to help them as they deal with issues with food.