Eating disorders appearing during one's teenage and adolescent years can be very dangerous for his/her health. Taking into consideration that girls are more prone to developing eating disorders than boys, they need to receive proper education about these health problems, learning how to deal with them in the best possible way, avoiding them through healthy eating habits.
These forms of disorders appearing during young age are not healthy at all. In fact, many types of eating disorders may even be life-threatening, especially once no steps are taken in order to provide help.
Eating Disorder at a Young Age is Unhealthy
Children and teens are quite prone to developing eating disorders due to their pursuit of role-models seen on TV or in magazines. However, the photos and videos of these celebrities often undergo serious post-production processes, making them incredibly aesthetically pleasing, fit and abnormally thin. Thus, in order to match them and become attractive and successful themselves, children choose diets and starvation.
These dangerous attitudes towards food consumption and nutrition may easily lead to some of the most common eating disorders: bulimia, anorexia and binge eating.
Anorexic children and teens refuse to eat because they desire to preserve their thin body figure. This lifestyle leads to malnutrition and various health problems. On the other hand, bulimic youngsters overeat, enjoying food excessively, only to undergo a process of purging, or expelling the food voluntarily, through vomiting and taking laxative medications, among other methods.
Finally the third most common eating disorder affecting children is binge eating, manifesting through excessive consumption of food. These teenagers and children are overweight or even obese, suffering from various health problems due to this state of affairs. Naturally, this eating disorder usually stems from some other life experiences, such as abuse, traumas etc.
Moreover, sometimes, eating disorders in children and teens may overlap, with individuals suffering from two disorders interchangeably, during certain periods of their lives.
However, bear in mind that only 5 to 15% of young people suffering from eating disorders are male. Therefore, the remaining 85 to 95% are females. However, men tend to suffer from binge eating, the number being 35% of the total.
Note that children usually develop eating disorders in order to cope with some other disorders and problems in their lives. Thus, young people suffering from eating disorders usually have issues with anxiety, depression or substance abuse.
Either way, anorexia can lead to serious health problems including organ damage, heartbeat irregularities, low blood pressure and pulse, as well as body temperature and breathing rate and sensitivity to cold. In time, anorexia can lead to bone deterioration too, being even fatal in about one out of every 10 cases. Namely, when people die due to this disorder, they mainly suffer from cardiac arrest, electrolyte imbalance and suicide.
On the other hand, the chronic vomiting related to bulimia may trigger teeth decay, inflammation of the esophagus and swelling in the salivary glands located in the cheek area.
Finally, binge eating can lead to hypertension, heart disease and high cholesterol levels in the blood.
Are Girls More Affected by Eating Disorders
Today, according to various scientific research results, about 10% of all women in the US suffer from some kind of an eating disorder. Subsequently, about 50,000 of these women are likely to die because of their conditions. Therefore, the number of women with these sorts of problems are much higher than men.
Many people may be perplexed by the transformation of usually successful and satisfied women into sick and obsessed individuals, consciously jeopardizing their health for the sake of aesthetic appeal.
Yet, scientists believe that they have the answer behind this state of affairs. Namely, heredity accounts for about 50% of these types of occurrences, especially in cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, along with many other mood and behavior disorders.
However, the other 50% may belong to various factors. Childhood nutrition habits may be one of the causes, since obese children are likely to become obsessed with their weight later in life. Also, those children which are excessively thin may suffer the same consequences. Stress, being one of the most powerful, disease-triggering condition, can lead to eating disorders too, along with childhood traumas and parental emphasis on physical appearance and weight. Simply, if a girl is brought up in an obsessed environment of this type, the chances of her suffering from an eating disorder are great.
The culture plays its part here as well, advertising the abnormally thin female figure as a desired one, labeling it as beautiful, discarding all other variants. Hence, people with normal body weight cannot find their equals in magazines or celebrity TV shows. Naturally, the chances are even smaller for those who are overweight, let alone obese. This meaningless imposed perfection leads to abnormal dieting habits and excessive exercise. However, these obsessions commonly result in a development of eating disorders.
Thus, keep your teenage girl well educated about the dangers related to both overeating and not eating enough. Promote proper nutrition and a lifestyle which goes with it, helping your child escape the hypnotizing clutches of our global, material and vain society which commonly focuses on unimportant things, neglecting the crucial ones.