Eating Disorders

There is a lot of talk about being healthy these days. Eating light, dieting, aerobic exercise and running are popular ways to keep a body healthy. Helping your child maintain the right weight for his/her body size and build is a healthy thing to do. Eating well-balanced meals in reasonable amounts is the best way to stay healthy.

Eating, or not eating, to feel better about oneself or to avoid feelings, is not healthy. This use of food is called an eating disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which people think they are too heavy but they really are quite thin and they try to starve themselves or eat very little because they do not want to gain any weight. People who do this are called "anorexic". Anorexia requires immediate medical attention.

Bulimia is an eating disorder in which people make themselves throw up their food after eating just to make sure they will not gain any weight. People who do this are called "bulimic". graphicSome people have a problem with Compulsive Overeating. This is a condition in which people eat more and more and become heavier and heavier. Often this kind of eating is not because of hunger, (although people may say or think they are hungry) but for many different reasons such as being upset or worried about something, needing attention or not feeling good about one's self.

Trying to handle weight problems with fad diets or miracle cures is not usually successful. A child's body needs balanced nutrition in order to function at its best. Dealing with weight problems and eating disorders can be very difficult but not impossible. It is hard sometimes to know if a child has a weight problem that requires an "eating plan" or just "something that they will grow out of".

Talk with your doctor about your or your child's concerns about her/his weight or eating behaviors, and see Counseling. After speaking with the doctor, you may decide to call one of the many weight loss programs in our area.

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