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Emotional Eating: For Many Teens, It’s About Body Image

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating can be a big issue for many teenagers, which can often lead to weight gain, even and eating disorders. Eating disorders are so common in America that one or two, out of every 100 students, will struggle with one at some point.

Each year, thousands of teens develop eating disorders, or problems with weight, eating, or body image. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. But other food-related disorders, like binge eating, body image disorders, and food phobias, are becoming more and more common.

High school is a very competitive world. It is usually during this time period where most teens try to figure out who they really are. Unfortunately, many strive to fit in with others and will go to any extremes to achieve this goal. Physical appearances seem to dominate importance more than anything else. I saw this exact scenario at my own school.

My friend wanted to fit in so badly with the other skinny girls that she became bulimic. All of her friends did everything in their power to help her, and finally she was taken to a doctor. After seeing a good friend struggle, I now understand that things like this are hard to prevent, as sad as that is. However, if one is surrounded by a good support group, including friends and family, one can overcome this obstacle.

Parents can help prevent kids from developing an eating disorder by nurturing their self-esteem, and encouraging healthy attitudes about nutrition and appearance. Also, if you are worried that your child may be developing an eating disorder, it's important to intervene and seek proper medical care. This is also true if there is any family history of eating disorders.

Mental effects include a poor and distorted self-body image, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts on losing weight and body fat, denial of the problem, he/she see it’s as a lifestyle, becoming isolated and secretive, avoids social interaction, easily irritated, has feelings of guilt and depression.

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