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The Eating Disorders Among Us


Sometimes the teenager will eat exactly the same foods ... Eating disorders in your very young child reveal different kinds of issues than you may encounter in teens ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Eating Disorders Among Us

The Eating Disorders Among Us
Eating Disorders Fact or Fiction?
  • They are a REAL, TREATABLE medical illness
  • Certain maladaptive patterns of eating take an a
    life of their own
  • Co-occur with other psychiatric disorders
  • Depression, Substance Abuse, and Anxiety Disorders

Who is at Risk for Eating Disorders?
  • Perfectionistic teens. These boys/girls are
    usually excellent students, well behaved, and
    intend on doing everything just right.
  • Girls raised by authoritarian parents or who feel
    compelled to please their parents. They may
    unconsciously seek control of their weight and
    body shape as their only means of independent
  • Teens under stress with an alcohol or drug
    abusing parent.
  • Teens who have low self-esteem and are depressed.
    They may be especially sensitive to criticism or
    suggestions that they might be overweight whether
    or not these perceptions are accurate.

Types of Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge-Eating Disorder

Anorexia Nervosa
  • Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above
    minimally normal weight for age and height
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat,
    even though underweight
  • Disturbance in the way in which ones body weight
    or shape is experienced, undue influence of body
    weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of
    the seriousness of the current low body weight
  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods

Symptoms of Anorexia
  • Wearing baggy, heavy clothing to hide thinness
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Dry, cold skin with downy hair on arms, legs,
    back, face or chest
  • Insomnia and hyperactivity
  • Distorted body images
  • Extreme fear of gaining any weight
  • Strict rules (such as no liquids at all or no
    eating without exercise first)
  • Slowed physical and social development

Health Risks of Anorexia
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Suicide
  • Low protein stores
  • Digestive problems
  • Electrolyte imbalance

Bulimia Nervosa
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized
    by eating an excessive amount of food within a
    discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of
    control over eating during the episode
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in
    order to prevent weight gain, such as
    self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives,
    diuretics, enemas, or other medications
    (purging) fasting or excessive exercise
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory
    behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice
    a week for 3 months
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body
    shape and weight

Symptoms of Bulimia
  • Bingeing and purging from once a week to five
    times a day
  • Extreme fear of gaining even a small amount of
  • Distorted body image fatter than appear
  • Dry skin and dry brittle hair
  • Swollen glands under the jaw from vomiting
    (chipmunk cheeks)
  • Depression, guilt, fear, and mood swings
  • Fatigue and cold sweats from rapid changes in
    blood sugar levels

Health Risks of Bulimia
  • Electrolyte imbalance leading to irregular heart
    beat, heart failure, and kidney damage
  • Laxative dependency
  • Throat damage
  • Dental problems
  • Stomach rupture
  • Irregular menstruation

Binge-Eating Disorder
  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized
    by eating an excessive amount of food within a
    discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of
    control over eating during the episode
  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with at
    least 3 of the following eating much more
    rapidly than normal eating until feeling
    uncomfortably full eating large amounts of food
    when not feeling physically hungry eating alone
    because of being embarrassed by how much one is
    eating feeling disgusted with oneself,
    depressed, or very guilty after overeating

Binge-Eating Disorder
  • Marked distress about the binge-eating disorder
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2
    days a week for 6 months
  • The binge eating is not associated with the
    regular use of inappropriate compensatory
    behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive

Symptoms of BED
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Shortness of breath after mild exertion
  • An obese eating style taking large bites, eating
    quickly, and without pleasure
  • Constant failed attempts at dieting
  • Guilt after bingeing and anger when confronted by
    others about eating
  • Limited social activities from too much weight
    and too little self worth

The World of an Eating Disorder
  • Eating low-calorie and low-fat foods almost
  • Drinking non-caloric fluid, e.g. diet drinks,
    water, almost exclusively
  • Eating very slowly
  • Talking themselves out of their hunger, e.g., I
    cant be hungry again I had that salad just a
    few hours ago.
  • Eating but then engaging in a compensatory
    activity, including vomiting, use of laxatives or
    diuretics, or excessive exercise

The World of an Eating Disorder
  • Narrowing of the range of food choices
  • A focus which may border on obsession with
    number surrounding food and weight, e.g., the
    number of calories or fat grams consumed per meal
    or per day, and/or the numbers on the scale
  • An increasing restriction in social activities
  • Unusual food rituals moving food around plate,
    cutting food into tiny pieces, chewing food and
    spitting it out into a napkin

What You May Not Know
  • Eating disordered children typically are of
    normal weight, and often appear to be the picture
    of health and paragons of self-discipline,
    excelling in academics, sports, and other
  • Dieting is the worst way to lose weight
  • Parents are not responsible for causing eating
    disorders in their children
  • Proactive parental involvement in the childs
    recovery can and should be instrumental in
    facilitating healing
  • Parents do not need to wait for full-blown
    symptoms to get treatment or seek advice

The Early Signs
  • Dieting
  • Reaching puberty at an early age
  • Picky or idiosyncratic eating
  • Interest in reading food labels
  • Becoming a vegetarian
  • Avoiding sweets
  • Drinking lots of water or diet soda
  • Reluctance to eat in front of others
  • Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror
  • Involvement in weight conscious activities

Signs in the School Classroom
  • Ideal student, overly invested in achieving good
    grades and in maintaining a high profile in
    extra-curricular activities/athletics
  • Deteriorating work ethic and quality
  • Depressed, fatigue, distracted, fidgety, or
  • Difficulty handling stress
  • Demonstrate black and white thinking
  • Concerns about body image and thinness
  • Withdrawn from friends
  • Carry own food to all outings

Signs in the Lunch Room
  • Skipping lunch or restricting food
  • Consider diet soda and an apple to be a meal
  • High achievers might schedule a class or activity
    during the lunchtime slot
  • May not feel comfortable eating in front of
    others and may eat surreptitiously/secretly

Signs in the Gymnasium
  • A compulsive exerciser
  • Overly competitive
  • May display compulsions in the locker room or
    prior to athletic events
  • May frequently feel dizzy or weak and need to lie
    down when exercising due to lack of food (may
    also frequent the nurses office)

Signs in the Guidance Office
  • Will not confess their abuses of food to the
  • Students need to be actively and sensitively
    prodded to disclose what may be symptoms of
    eating disorders
  • When a student comes to talk with you about
    someone she knows, be aware that the person
    referred to just may be herself

What Parents Can Do
  • Set standards for a balanced eating and exercise
    lifestyle at home.
  • Everyone in your household should be eating three
    nutritious meals a day
  • Prepare meals and expect your family to enjoy
    them together as often as possible
  • Discuss your thoughts, feelings, and values with
    your children. Speak until you are heard.

What Parents Can Do
  • Understand how your own attitudes about food
    influence your child, and try to keep them
    separate from your childs issues
  • Hear the feeling messages behind your childs
    statements respond to your child, not to the
    food she consumes
  • Learn as much as you can before reaching out for
    help. Knowledge is power.

What Parents Can Do
  • Keep expectations realistic for yourself, your
    child, the treatment process, and the
  • Set goals for yourself and meet them. They will
    keep you focused.
  • There are many right ways to do things
  • Begin your foray into the community of health
    care providers knowing your child deserves the
    very best!

What Schools Can Do
  • Teach students to understand advertising ploys
    and to become critics, not victims
  • Teach students how to confront and diffuse
  • Use available curricula

Activism for Educators
  • Propose to rid schools of fat caliper testing
  • Replace junk food vending machines with wholesome
    and nutritious foods
  • PTAs could become more sensitive to foods served
    at local functions
  • Rework physical education back into schools
  • Taking weights at practice should not be allowed

Personal Interventions for Educators
  • Personal follow-up with students
  • Recognize the power of words!
  • Notify parents with it is critical that the
    student needs professional help
  • Develop a referral base for parents to seek help