Any abnormal eating behaviour, often accompanied by a distorted body image.
Psychiatric eating disorders related to tension, poor nutritional habits and food fads are common eating problems amongst youngsters. In addition, they are on the increase among teenagers, especially girls. Most teenagers hide these serious and sometimes fatal disorders from their families and friends.
A combination of medication, individual and family therapy is the best form of treatment.
The 3 main eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (anorexia), Bulimia Nervosa (bulimia) and Binge Eating Disorder (binge eating).
Eating disorders during adolescence may be associated with an elevated risk for a broad range of physical and mental health problems during early adulthood.
Adolescents with eating disorders are at a high risk for anxiety disorders, cardiovascular symptoms, chronic fatigue, depressive disorders, infectious diseases, insomnia, neurological symptoms, and suicide attempts during early adulthood.
Eating disorders are most likely to start during puberty when teens are dealing with bodily changes and at the same time are faced with new academic and social pressures.
Eating disorders can also take place when a teenager leaves home for the first time. Controlling food is a wrong way to counter stress or loneliness.
Common causes being - psychological, family and socio-cultural.
Stress could trigger the onset of eating disorders. The relationship between stress and eating disorder onset is stronger among individuals who also have other psychiatric disorders,
Teens who develop anorexia are more likely to come from families with a history of weight problems, physical illnesses, depression and alcoholism.
Although, heredity may make an adolescent prone to an eating disorder, other contributing factors are depression, peer pressure, stress, unrealistic images in the media.