Disordered eating–though not as serious as a full-blown eating disorder–is more prevalent among teens and adults. Disordered eating has the potential to turn into a more damaging issue, like anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders; this makes it a dangerous habit for your teenage girl to take on. It’s estimated that around half a million teens struggle with disordered eating or eating disorders.
What is disordered eating?
The main difference between eating disorders and disordered eating is the level of severity and frequency of abnormal eating behaviors. Disordered eating is typically less severe and less frequent than eating disorders. Disordered eating includes unhealthy weight loss tactics: skipping meals, fasting, obsessive calorie counting, etc.
Why does it begin?
The short answer is the media. It’s more complicated than that, but a large portion of disordered eating begins with an idea of what a girl should look like according to the media. Oftentimes, this is the thin, tall, blemish-free model–which doesn’t represent the mass majority of females. We’re all exposed to this through television, commercials, ads on the highway, magazines, social media, and any other form of media you can think of. Girls become dissatisfied with their bodies, thinking they need to look more like the women they see as “glamorous” and turn to unhealthy means of losing weight.
What can a parent do?
This type of issue often develops as a result of low self-esteem or pulling their self-worth from their outward appearance. To combat this, a parent can show further support, body positivity, and make sure their teen is getting the nutrition they need while feeling comfortable in their own body. But, because of the danger of disordered eating morphing into an eating disorder, it’s important to seek out professional guidance. By doing this, a teen can get not only your support, but a professional’s support as well.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help our girls lead themselves back onto a path of health and happiness.
For more information about how Solstice East handles disordered eating, please call 828-484-9946!