Body image is a major concern for many and so children and boys as young as seven are affected with eating disorders. A dramatic jump over recent years in the number of cases of anorexia among children in New South Wales has seen doctors forced to create intensive programs to help those in need. It means GPs and mental health specialists are now working to diagnose disorders early so children can receive help before their condition becomes critical. 'It's about recognising eating disorders are common and if we want the best outcome we want people to be picked up early, treated early and treated close to home, family and their school,' Dr Sloane Madden, eating disorders unit co-director at Sydney Children's Hospital said. ‘Worryingly, some of these eating disorders are only being discovered when children are rushed to hospital with issues caused by starvation. ’ Dr Madden said looking stronger and fitter is becoming more important at a younger age. However it's not all about looking like sports heroes, but also an increased focus on health and fitness in society that's leading to the increased number of cases. "In that nine and 10-year-old age group boys want to be fitter [and] want to be more muscular, so they really cut back on their food and they exercise in a very compulsive way," he said. In 2016, 100 children have been checked in to Westmead hospital in Sydney with eating disorders. Of those, around 10 percent are under the age of 12, while four out of five come from metropolitan areas. While anorexia and other eating disorders have long been associated with young girls, that's beginning to change. 'It's not vanity at all, it's genetically based serious psychiatric illness with serious complications.' Source: Medindia << Five Servings of Fruits, Vegetables Expensive for Many Surgery Residents in United States Work Flexible Schedules ... >> Recommended Reading Eating Disorders Eating disorders involve extreme attitudes and behaviors towards food and weight. It has the highest suicidal mortality rate than other mental illnesses. READ MORE Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder most commonly found among teenage girls. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a very low body weight, generally defined as 15% below the Body Mass Index. READ MORE Decreased Appetite Symptom Evaluation A loss of appetite deprives an individual of essential nutrients and results in weight loss. READ MORE Orthorexia Nervosa Are you a Health Food Junkie? Are you obsessed with what you eat all the time? You may be a victim of a condition called Orthorexia Nervosa. READ MORE Binge Eating Disorder When a person overeats, he is unable to control his hunger pangs, while during an emotional/binge eating session, he is incapable of controlling his emotions. READ MORE Bulimia Nervosa The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followed by self-induced vomiting or purgation. READ MORE Chronic Dieting - Is it an Eating Disorder? Chronic dieting is associated with eating disorders that mainly include unhealthy eating practices such as severe calorie restriction in diet of men or women who on a regular basis follow fad diets mainly to reduce weight. READ MORE Diabulimia Diabulimia is an eating disorder particularly in patients with type I diabetes caused by reducing and/or skipping insulin doses. READ MORE Female Athlete Triad Female athlete triad is caused by extreme dieting and exercise usually among young women athletes and leads to abnormal menstruation, an unhealthy body and in extreme cases even death. READ MORE Sleep Eating Disorders Sleep-related eating disorders are abnormal eating behaviors that occur during night. Sleep related eating disorder is a part of parasomnias. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia The Essence of Yoga Drug Interaction Checker Blood Pressure Calculator More News on: Binge Eating DisorderAnorexia NervosaBulimia NervosaSleep Eating DisordersHeight and Weight-KidsFemale Athlete TriadEating DisordersDiabulimiaChronic Dieting - Is it an Eating Disorder?