Eating Disorders in Children and Teenagers



According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) there are seven types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, pica, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, rumination disorder and eating disorder not elsewhere classified.

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) – severe low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and persistent behaviour that interferes with weight gain

Bulimia Nervosa (BN) – intake of large amounts of food followed by purging

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – intake of very large amounts of food with no purging

Pica – craving and eating things not considered food e.g. dirt, ice, soap, hair

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake disorder (ARFID) – no interest in food, poor diet due to sensory issues or food refusal related to fear of choking, vomiting

Rumination Disorder (RD) – regurgitation of food that has been chewed and swallowed. Food is then rechewed and re-swallowed or spit out.

Eating Disorder Not Elsewhere Classified (EDNEC) – dysregulated eating that does not fit all diagnostic criteria of AN, BN, BED. For example, orthorexia, night eating syndrome, purging disorder

It is important to understand that eating disorders are not solely confined to food issues but are usually due to a range of psychological conditions that cause unhealthy eating habits to develop e.g. obsession with food, delusions, anxiety, fixation with body image, substance/alcohol use. Untreated eating disorders can lead to some very serious medical problems and research is finding that an eating disorder rarely exists in isolation but is usually accompanied with other mental disorders/illnesses e.g. depression, anxiety, substance abuse.

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Other Mental Health Videos in this Series:

#25: Eating Disorders in Children and Teenagers

#24: Schizophrenia in Children and Teenagers

#23: Mental illness in Native American and Alaskan Natives Children and Teenagers

#22: Borderline Personality Disorder in Children and Teenagers

#21: PTSD & Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children &Teenagers

#20: Bullying in children/teenagers: LGBTQ, and those with disabilities and special health needs.

#19: How to help a child/teenager who is being bullied (plus How to deal with a bully):

#18: The ‘Circle of Bullying’ and Signs a Child/Teenager is Being Bullied

#17: What is Cyberbullying? How to Help Children and Teenagers Who are Cyberbullied

#16: What is Bullying? What are the Different Types of Bullying Behaviour? Who is the Bully?

#15: Depression in Children & Teens

#14: Dissociative Identity Disorder in Children and Teenagers

#13: Suicide Prevention: What you need to know to help your children and teenagers

#12: Attachment Disorders in Children and Teenagers

#11: How To Help A Child/Teenager With A Mental Disorder Transition Back To School

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Source: Youtube