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Teenage Eating Disorders

Updated on February 10, 2019

It is estimated that thirty million people worldwide suffer from an eating disorder, 95% of these people are between the ages of twelve and 25. During the teenage years, eating disorders commonly emerge. This is due to the physical and hormonal changes faced during adolescence. A teenager will grow physically, mentally and biologically, and those entering puberty can face a very confusing and stressful time. Another reason that teenagers are more likely to develop an eating disorder than adults is the change in the socio-emotional system when a child hits puberty. This change is an increase in the desire to be socially accepted. Some teenagers may turn towards dieting to be more acceptable and this can trigger an eating disorder, especially those who are genetically predisposed. Genetics, environment, and personality traits all combine to create the risk of an eating disorder. An eating disorder can be very deadly and have many negative effects on a teens social life and lead to psychological issues, like: depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, and withdrawal from family and friends. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, but recovery and prevention is possible. Preventive efforts can include reducing negative risk factors and increasing protective factors. Negative risks factors are things like body-dissatisfaction, depression and low self esteem. Protective factors are things like replacing dieting with intuitive eating and having a non-appearance-oriented self definition. If it is too late to prevent an eating disorder, recovery efforts can be used. Recovering from an eating disorder is a very difficult task that takes time and effort. The treatment must address the symptoms and medical consequences of that person's specific eating disorder, to do this, the first step must be getting a diagnosis. Treatments typically include psychological and nutritional counseling, medical monitoring, and addressing the forces that contribute and maintain the eating disorder. These forces are psychological, biological, interpersonal, and cultural. This is necessary because certain forces can increase the risk of having an eating disorder. Obtaining the knowledge of teen eating disorders can greatly decrease the chances of future teens suffering from this horrible mental illness.


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Adolescentgrowth. “Eating Disorder Statistics 2017.” Adolescent Growth, 8 Aug. 2017,

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© 2019 Olivia Chasity


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