Perhaps the body image issues started in your child after they got called rude names about their chubbiness. Maybe their peers at school and playground started making fun of them or the environment at home is not a stable one.
There are many psychologic reasons for having eating disorders, a condition that is remarked by change in eating habits.
Children with eating disorders then have an unhealthy relationship with food and the implications of this are rather grave.
They may cause nutrient deficiency, mental health problems, problem with growth, meriting intervention from the Best Child specialist in Lahore then.
In extreme cases, certain eating disorders can also lead to death. Hence, parents need to have a know-how of eating problems in their children.
Signs of eating disorders
Whereas the signs of eating disorders may vary as per the type of the disorder, however, there are some collective signs of eating disorders.
The signs include children worrying about their body size and weight. Furthermore, children also have mood swings and similar mental health issues as well.
The eating disorders cause weight loss, reduced portion size, problems with puberty, growth problems, digestive problems like digestive issues, hair fall etc.
Types of eating disorders
In this condition, children have distorted image of their selves, as they perceive to weigh more than they do. Consequently, they don’t have a healthy relationship with food. They diet and over-exercise to stay thin.
Many are underweight, and then face serious health conditions including musculoskeletal problem heart and kidney issues, arrhythmia etc. It may even be fatal as well.
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, AFRID is an eating disorder that is remarked by aversion to the texture of the food, that then makes children uninterested in food.
Moreover, their lack of interest in food might also be due to experience of choking on food or vomiting. This then makes them apprehensive of eating food.
Children with AFRID have nutrient deficiency, that then causes weight and development problems in them. However, some children who eat low-nutrient but high caloric food like junk food might not have low-weight.
Binge eating is a disorder in which the child eats, without any control, as suggested by the word binge. Children with this eating disorder eat uncontrollably, after which they then feel immense guilt about eating so much.
Moreover, they tend to eat very fast. They might even smuggle food into their room, or eat when there is not one around, so to avoid censure.
Naturally, due to the over-indulgence in food, children who binge eat are more likely to be overweight or obese. This then leads to health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, joint aches etc.
Binge eating may be the coping mechanism of children. They might turn to food when they feel depressed, eating their feelings as it is said. Moreover, it also starts vicious cycle, as children become more depressed after eating so much as well.
Bulimia is a condition in which a person overeats, and then purges the food by vomiting or taking laxatives. This is done so that food is not assimilated by the body, and they do not end up gaining weight.
People who have bulimia feel disgusted with themselves after eating too much food, and thus use different means to get rid of the food, after which they feel relieved.
Bulimic children have poor body image. Their weight tends to fluctuate, as they overeat and purge. Other symptoms of bulimia include mood swings, anxiety, depression and sadness, fixation on looks etc.
They also face serious health issues due to this disorder including inflammation of the esophagus from constant vomiting. Moreover, they also have damaged tooth enamel, again because of vomiting. Bulimia also causes swelling of the salivary glands. If you suspect your child to have bulimia, immediately seek help of the Best Child specialist in Karachi.