Red Flags: Signs and Symptoms of Teen Eating Disorders

With National Eating Disorders Awareness Week approaching, it’s important to bring attention to the dangers and signs of teen eating disorders. In a ten year study, it was concluded that 11 percent of high school students have an eating disorder. In order to shrink this percentage, parents must be able to identify the red flags of teen eating disorders.

teen eating disorders

Photo Credit: flickr user – Joshua Rappeneker

Causes of teen eating disorders

Teen eating disorders get triggered by many things, from life’s stresses to genetic make up. These are some of the main reasons teens develop eating disorders:

  1. Social Pressures: Advertising companies favor thin, fit, attractive models even though they’re the minority in the general population. This sends a pretty negative message out to teens. All they see when they watch television, read magazines, or scroll through social media are unrealistic examples of what they “should” look like. This can drive teens towards eating disorders in order to reach that unattainable “perfection” society displays.
  2. Favorite Interests: Teens involved in athletic or modelling activities have a higher risk of developing a teen eating disorder. This is because those activities tend to call for thinner participants.
  3. Genetics: Biological or genetic aspects influence whether someone is more likely to develop a teen eating disorder or not. Some mental illnesses, such as anxiety or perfectionism, increase the risk of eating disorders.

Warning signs of eating disorders in teens

Many people struggle with lifelong eating disorders because someone didn’t catch it soon enough. Parents can help prevent this by knowing the common warning signs of teen eating disorders. By keeping these in mind, you have a better chance of noticing the eating disorder and helping your child work through it. These common signs include:

  • Continuous worry or anxiety about losing weight
  • Constantly checking in the mirror for imperfections
  • Frequently eating large amounts of food
  • Intense focus on exercise and eating healthy
  • Going to the bathroom frequently after eating
  • Excuses for skipping meals often
  • Signs of guilt, depression, or disgust for eating habits

If you believe your child is struggling with a teen eating disorder, it’s extremely important to reach out to a profession for help.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations is a residential treatment center for struggling teens, ages 13 to 17. We help with teen eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and much more. With our therapeutic techniques, your child can recover and move forward.

For more information about how Elevations RTC handles teen eating disorders, please call .

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