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How can eating disorders in children and adolescents be identified? - Walla! health


Eating disorders are not only the domain of young women and men but also of children and adolescents. An adolescent medicine expert explains how to identify eating disorders in teens

  • health

  • parenthood

  • Child nutrition

How can eating disorders in children and adolescents be identified?

In the past year, following the corona crisis, many teenagers and children have gained weight and others have actually lost weight.

While this is a natural phenomenon, it can lead to the development of a dangerous eating disorder.

An expert gives important tips to parents


  • Teens

  • Eating Disorders

Dr. Noga Kerem, guest article

Monday, 29 March 2021, 07:32 Updated: 07:38

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A challenging period in which special attention must be paid to the adolescent.

Girl eating (Photo: ShutterStock)

The Corona period was difficult for everyone, but it was especially difficult for children and teenagers.

Aside from the long hours of zooming and isolation from friends, this period has raised the incidence of eating disorders among teens.

These disorders included not only obesity but also uncontrolled weight loss and the development of various eating disorders.

Here are some tips for early detection of the development of eating disorders:

1. Try to pay attention to significant changes in weight or how clothes are laid out.

Obesity is relatively easy to detect, although "training days" make it difficult to detect it as well, weight loss requires more attention.

A long stay together at home makes it difficult to identify minor changes that are happening in the body.

More than one random meeting with someone who has not met the boy / girl for a long time will be a wake-up call for a change.

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2. Pay attention to the food choices of the adolescents


Do you tend to eat mostly processed foods?

Do you completely avoid sweets and high-fat foods?

Any extreme adolescence is not desirable, it is recommended to consult a clinical nutritionist regarding changes in menu

3. Have the amounts of food that the adolescent eats changed recently?

Is cooked food that you prepare ends much faster than planned?

The pantry is empty?

If a lot of friends came to visit - everything is fine, but if not - worth keeping an eye on.

4. Has your child become vegetarian or vegan?

Choosing veganism and even vegetarianism may be a normal developmental stage and an early stage in the development of an eating disorder, and in any case requires guidance by a qualified professional to prevent nutritional deficiencies that will affect growth and development and allow follow-up.

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5. Announcing the adoption of a healthy lifestyle.

Blessed in principle, but it should be noted that adolescents tend to be extreme in interpreting the slogan, care should be taken that they do not harm their health because of sticking to too strict rules.

Excessive exercise.

Healthy and recommended physical activity, certainly on days of closures and restriction of movement, but also on weekdays.

At the same time an activity that becomes "obsessive", for example when it can not be skipped if one feels less well, or when there are other occupations, or becomes too long or demanding - requires clarification as it may imply the use of sports as a means of increased weight loss.

The adolescent refrained from eating together?

Children eat a hamburger (Photo: ShutterStock)

7. The adolescent avoids eating together.

Often with statements such as "I've already eaten," my stomach hurts, "" I'm not hungry right now. "Of course, events may happen to a healthy teenager, but when they come in close proximity - please note that there is no excuses to avoid eating at all.

8. dramatically increasing the quantity Drinking -

water / tea / unsweetened drinking of any kind

9. Closure in the room / social retreat.

How difficult it is to identify these days, when adolescents are asked to sit in front of screens for hours anyway. With friends, distancing oneself from family members - may also be a warning sign for the development of an eating disorder



change in mood

Although the environmental conditions of social distance and lack of educational and social frameworks justify such a change, yet if unexplained crying, outbursts of anger are uncharacteristic , Difficulty falling asleep or waking up early, lack of enjoyment from activities they used to enjoy - all of these require an open conversation with the adolescent and a referral to professionals when needed. The

author is Dr. Noga Kerem, an expert in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, director of the adolescent health center and adolescent health clinic. Bnei Zion Medical Center, Haifa

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Source: walla

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