Children and Eating Disorders

Powerful Essays
Children and Eating Disorders

In the past few decades researchers have focused on eating disorders, the causes of these disorders and how they can be treated. However, it has mainly been in the last decade that researchers have started looking at eating disorders in children, the reasons why these disorders are developing at such a young age, and the best recovery program for these young people. To understand this growing problem it is necessary to ask a few important questions:

Is there a relationship between family context and parental input and eating disorders?

What effect do mothers who suffer or have suffered from an eating disorder have on their children and specifically their daughters’ eating patterns?

What is the best way to treat children with eating disorders?


In an article focusing on an overall description of eating disorders in children, by Bryant-Waugh and Lask (1995), they claim that in childhood there appears to be some variants on the two most common eating disorders found in adults, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These disorders include selective eating, food avoidance emotional disorder, and pervasive refusal syndrome. Because so many of the children do not fit all of the requirements for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified, they created a general definition which includes all eating disorders, "a disorder of childhood in which there is an excessive preoccupation with weight or shape, and/or food intake, and accompanied by grossly inadequate, irregular or chaotic food intake" (Byant-Waugh and Lask, 1995). Furthermore they created a more practical diagnostic criteria for childhood onset anorexia nervosa as: (a)...

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