What are eating problems?
Many children have problems with eating at some time in their
These problems can range from not liking certain foods (which
happens to most people), to serious eating problems
which may come from medical or emotional troubles.
How can eating
Scientists think eating
problems can start in a lot of ways.
Some scientists think that you are born with them.
around you, and from wanting to be like very thin fashion models.
Also, people who don't feel in control of their lives turn to eating,
as it's one thing they do have power over.
Eating problems can also start because of other problems,
such as unhappiness at home or school, someone you
know dying, or a mixture of these and other things.
It is a medical condition and its proper name is anorexia nervosa.
People with anorexia nervosa avoid eating and lose a lot of weight.
They often feel fat, even when they are very thin.
They may use other ways of staying thin, such as taking laxative
(which is dangerous and makes you go to the toilet more often)
or by doing too much exercise.
They can become very weak, and without special help some people with
anorexia can die.
What is bulimia?
It is also a medical condition
and its proper name is bulimia nervosa.
People with bulimia eat lots of food (called binge eating) and then make
themselves sick to get rid of what they've eaten.
People with bulimia may not look underweight and so can find it easy to
hide their eating problems.
Binge eating and vomiting can eventually do serious damage to the teeth,
heart, kidneys and muscles.
What is compulsive eating?
This is when people eat much
more than their
bodies need, for a long period of time.
Compulsive eating can also start from people using
food to comfort or distract themselves.
This can lead to someone being overweight and
having serious medical problems.
How many children have them?
About 1 in 100 of teenage
girls suffer from eating problems.
But some of them have them in a very small way.
But the older you get, the more people tend to get eating problems.
1 in 50 young women and 1 in 500 young men suffering from
anorexia and bulimia.