Childhood Anorexia Nervosa: Warning Signs of Eating Disorders in Children

By Mai Peralta, Parent Herald March 27, 05:40 am
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Children need nutritious food in order to grow and develop. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa is especially harmful to children. Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder that causes individuals to significantly limit their food intake which causes them to lose weight unhealthily.

People with anorexia have a skewed body image and although it happens more often in teenagers, there have been cases where children as young as six years old are affected by it. The cause of anorexia is unclear, but it may stem from low self-esteem and poor body image.

A study posted in the journal Clinical Neuroscience reveals that anorexia nervosa in children is becoming an increasing trend. It revealed that childhood anxiety may cause the early onset of anorexia nervosa eating disorders in people.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the majority of those affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa are females. There are two types of anorexia -- those who limit their food intake -- and bulimia, where individuals eat, but later purge all the food they've eaten by way of vomiting or using laxatives.

Eating disorders can affect anyone. Kids Health notes that children not getting enough food through starvation can incur life-threatening health problems, especially since they need all the nutrients to develop normally. Some health problems that can be caused by anorexia can include anemia, reduced blood pressure, breathing rate and pulse, fragile bones and even heart conditions.

There are different warning signs and symptoms of anorexia. Some physical warning signs include unhealthy weight loss, dry skin, dehydration, fatigue, being cold most of the time, yellowing of the skin dizziness and damaged teeth and swollen cheeks due to bulimia vomiting.

A group for eating disorders report that there are psychological warning signs as well. People with anorexia can be moody, depressed, anxious, obsessed with weight and appearance or have an extreme fear of gaining weight. Anorexic or bulimic people may also have weird eating patterns like not eating even when hungry.

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