The media plays a huge part in the lives of this generation’s teens. Social media apps are flooded with pictures of glamorous people living even more glamorous lives. Teens are usually engulfed by the false realities portrayed on these applications, a huge part coming from the way they view themselves. While the Internet does a lot to promote body positivity, the men and women who appear on these apps, magazine covers and on TV are usually sporting the bodies of supermodels and athletes. This gives teens a false idea of what the world perceives as ‘beautiful’ or ‘sexy’ and they aspire to look like their idols on the Internet.
This is just one of the issues that can cause eating disorders to arise in teenage boys and girls. These teens strive to be the skinniest or the best looking and go to extreme measures to achieve their goals. Before going into the effects these can have in the long term, let us get a better understanding of the different types of eating disorders that exist.
This is the most common type of eating disorder. Persons with this disorder view themselves as overweight, even if they’re already severely underweight. They tend to be very strict on monitoring their food, restricting calories and constantly checking their weight.
According to healthline.com, “People with bulimia frequently eat unusually large amounts of food in a relatively short period. Each binge-eating episode usually continues until the person becomes painfully full. Moreover, during a binge, the person usually feels that they cannot stop eating or control how much they are eating. Individuals with bulimia then attempt to purge to compensate for the calories consumed and relieve gut discomfort.”
Binge Eating Disorder
Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA) of healthline.com states, “Individuals with this disorder have similar symptoms to those with bulimia or binge-eating subtype of anorexia. For instance, they typically eat unusually large amounts of food in relatively short periods of time and usually feel a lack of control during binges. However, contrary to the two previous disorders, people with binge eating disorder do not restrict calories or use purging behaviours such as vomiting or excessive exercise to compensate for their binges.”
Untreated eating disorders can lead to serious health complications in the long-term. Therefore, extensive treatments involving a medical doctor, psychologist, physical therapist and dietitian is necessary for full recovery. The main goal of treatment is to get the teen back to a healthy weight. With the support of a loving family and a medical team monitoring the teen for any health complications that may arise, the teen should make a full recovery.
Eating disorders are becoming more common and it is easy to miss the signs in the early stages. According to eatingdisorderhope.com here are a few symptoms that you can look out for if you suspect your teen has an eating disorder:
Eating in secret
Preoccupation with food
A fear of becoming fat
Food phobias or avoidance