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Eating Disorders Among Children Are Widespread

by Medindia Content Team on February 6, 2006 at 3:18 PM
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Eating Disorders Among Children Are Widespread

Over 50% of the teenagers who suffer from eating disorders do not reveal it to anyone for a very long time, which may even be for over six months. As many as 1,000 youngsters were studied, and the parents of 40% of them said that they are capable of recognizing such disorders in their children, while only 21% of the children say that it was noticed by their parents.

The research was conducted by the Eating Disorders Association (EDA) which suggested that there should be more frank discussions between the children and their parents where this ailment is concerned. The exchange of opinions should be as frank as it is with the case of sexual health and drug abuse. Eating disorders such as bingeing, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa can even assume life-threatening dimensions.

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The UK alone has about 1.1 million people affected by this disorder, and most of them belong to the 14 years to 25 years age group. Most children who are afflicted by this are reluctant to discuss this as it appears to be the right way of leading their life for them. The onset of eating disorders coincide with other changes which take place in a child's life, like a need for greater privacy, as a result of which this disorder often goes unnoticed.

The media is being blamed to a very great extent for this disorder, as normal sized bodies are rarely given prominence in the media. The problem starts when people start dieting with the object of losing weight, which later becomes compulsive behavior. There are also instances wherein many women are seeking help from the health service to overcome their anorexia and bulimia problems.
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The waiting time to see a specialist can be as long as 8 months. This is further complicated by the fact that most youngsters wait for long periods before even thinking of seeking help. Several millions are being spent by Scotland's health service which is referring extreme cases to private hospitals. The matter is getting further complicated as most practitioners are not trained well enough to deal with the situation.
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