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Tips for Parents: Recognition and Prevention of Eating Disorders in Your Child

Be aware of what can happen to the body as a product of starvation, nutrition deprivation and purging. It could help you begin to recognize symptoms of an eating disorder in your child.

  • Hair can stop growing and even fall out.
  • Severe fasting or exercising can cause muscles to deteriorate.
  • Bone loss.
  • The body can become abnormally cold, and in an effort to keep warm, fine hair can grow all over the body, even on the face and stomach.
  • Reproductive functions can completely shut down, and periods can become irregular or stop altogether.
  • Excessive vomiting or laxative abuse can lead to cardiac arrest.
  • Purging causes chronic sore throats and eye vessels may burst.
  • Research shows that 1,000 girls die every year from eating disorders.

Parents must be aware of what can happen to the body as a product of starvation, nutrition deprivation and purging. Find here help to recognize anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders in kids.Abigail Natenshon, author of When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder, says there are seven specific ways parents can help prevent eating disorders and help your daughters appreciate their bodies:

  1. Minimize diet and weight talk. 
  2. Connect during meal times with your child.
  3. Don't equate thinness with happiness.
  4. Praise your daughter for what she does, not how she looks.
  5. Discourage extreme or obsessive behavior of any kind.
  6. Ask your daughter to make a list of her positive attributes not related to her body or appearance.
  7. Help her become a good problem solver.

    next: What Causes Anorexia and Bulimia in Teens?
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    APA Reference
    Gluck, S. (2008, December 19). Tips for Parents: Recognition and Prevention of Eating Disorders in Your Child, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/tips-for-parents-recognition-and-prevention-of-eating-disorders-in-your-child

    Last Updated: January 14, 2014

    Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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