Is your teen constantly on a new diet? Is she always looking for a new way to cut carbs and lose a few pounds? Sometimes, trying to eat healthier is a good thing. However, if your teen is taking dieting very seriously it might be time to start worrying. Why? Because your daughter may be experiencing disordered eating.
Spotting disordered eating in your daughter
Disordered eating is defined as a wide array of irregular eating behaviors that don’t warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder like bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa. Studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of the population demonstrates disordered eating. How can you tell if your daughter is dealing with this struggle? The answer to that question is complicated. Symptoms include:
- Symptoms that resemble those found in eating disorders such as: binge eating, purging, and food restriction.
- An exercise routine that may seem excessive or extremely rigid in its nature: For example, your teen might work out for several hours at a specific time of day every day.
- Feelings of worry about certain foods: They will not eat specific foods because of one reason or another- because they have too many calories or are high in fats.
- Obsessive Calorie Counting: Your teen might have downloaded an app or bought a book that helps track their daily calories. They will restrict calories to such a degree that it is unhealthy for them.
- An approach to food that is unusually rigid and inflexible: If your teen will only eat certain foods at specific times during the day, this might be a sign that she is experiencing disordered eating difficulties.
Disordered eating vs. an eating disorder
So what’s the difference between disordered eating and a full blown eating disorder? The answer lies in the degree of severity that symptoms present themselves. The symptoms associated with disordered eating are less severe than those in an eating disorder.
However, you should be just as concerned for your daughter with disordered eating. Disordered eating can lessen your daughter’s ability to concentrate and focus (which is terrible for high school students trying to make good grades). It may impede on your teen’s social life because they refuse to break out of their diet or exercise regime to make time for friends. For some teens, disordered eating is a way to cope with anxiety or stress coming from some other aspect of their lives.
If your teen is suffering from eating issues, she may need professional help to overcome whatever is influencing her harmful eating behaviors. Solstice can help your daughter work through whatever struggles are causing your teen’s eating issues. Solstice is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with emotional and behavioral difficulties.
For more information about Solstice, please call (866) 278-3345 today!