November 29th, 2010
04:19 PM ET

Eating disorders increasing for children and teens

Eating disorders are on the rise among children and teens, according to a report published in Pediatrics Monday. Disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are increasing in male children and minorities, and also are occurring in countries where such cases have not been seen, according to the report.

Lead author, Dr. David Rosen noted that eating disorders also are beginning younger meaning below the age of 12.

The report also estimates that 0.5 percent of teenage girls in the United States have anorexia nervosa, and 1 percent to 2 percent met criteria for bulimia nervosa. And males make up about 10 percent of all  eating disorder cases, according to the report.

This spike in eating disorders paradoxically accompanied another alarming trend - about 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 are estimated to be obese.

“During the past decade, the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents has also increased dramatically, accompanied by further emphasis on dieting and weight loss among children and adolescents,” wrote Rosen, for the American Academy of Pediatrics committee.

This puts pediatricians in delicate positions of conveying the risks of being obese but also giving kids a healthy body image.

“When counseling families on preventing obesity, pediatricians should focus on healthy eating and building self-esteem while still addressing weight concerns,” Rosen wrote.  “Care needs to be taken not to inadvertently enable excessive dieting, compulsive exercise, or other potentially unhealthy weight management strategies." Pediatricians should become familiar with early detection and evaluating patients who may have eating disorders,  according to the report.

Check back to CNN.com/health for a full feature on this topic later this week.  If you have gone through this experience as a child and would like to talk to CNN about this, please leave a comment below and we'll contact you via email.

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Teri

    This does not surprise me a bit. My son has been bullied at school for being fat last year and this year he has grown 6 inches and lost all of his baby fat, yet is still being teased. His physician has now told him he is underweight for his height and the kid is so worried about getting fat, he hardly eats anything and he just now turned 12 years old. People need to realize that is they have an obsession about someone being overweight they need to stop expressing their beliefs about it and stop bullying other kids. This behavior starts at home. It's up to the parents of the kids who are doing the teasing to learn to keep their mouths shut if they have a problem with other people. They need to check theirselves for their own insecurities and stop trying to portray others as having a problem. This is a hate crime against the youth and all people who happen to be overweight and it needs to stop. People need to learn tolerance and acceptance of other's differences. I only pray my kid does not end up with an eating disorder or worse become another statistic of a kid who commits suicide based on the bullying. It needs to stop!

    November 29, 2010 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • michelle

      I know it's tough, and you sound like a good mom, but if you leave your child in a school where you know he is being bullied, you are equally to blame. Homeschool, transfer, do whatever it takes.

      November 29, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
    • Gem

      Michelle, not all parents have the options to home-school or transfer a child to another school. Blaming the mother is misplaced and presumptuous.

      November 30, 2010 at 03:18 | Report abuse |
    • Granite

      Perhaps it is up to the parents not to make their kids fat in the first place. Sure, go ahead, blame the other kids, the schools and everyone else for a problem YOU created.

      November 30, 2010 at 08:00 | Report abuse |

    Its funny to me how our American society promotes these twisted ideas of women being rail thin and perfectly beautiful with every hair in place. Its in every magazine, every television show and movie, girls have barbies, bratz dolls and other image-obsessed toys to play with. After years of brainwashing and indoctrination, girls start starving themselves and adopting un healthy habits and diseases. Then they turn around and write BS articles like this and go, 'how did THIS happen?' OH, I DONT KNOW BRANIAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Perhaps if you stop freaking molesting our children's minds with empty, vacuous, shallow drivel on a daily basis, they might have an ounce of self esteem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 29, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Fat Me

    And I think it's going to get worse. With the media obsession with the "obesity epidemic," parents and children are terrified that they are going to be obese and are constantly dieting. Although there isn't a category as such, there needs to be one called "abuse by diet." Been there, done that and still living with the resulting devastation. Parents wake up! Realize that children need to be children and putting them on "diets" isn't going to help. We need to work on acceptance of people for who they are. Most of us are Christian, and isn't that what Christianity is all about?

    November 29, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • michelle

      You quote obesity epidemic as though it were not real. it is VERY real. I have a child with a growth disorder. He's too small; weight and height. Know who treats kids with growth disorders, primarily? Endocrinologists. I have been to 3 of this country's leading specialists, including the head of the Endo dept at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and do you know what I see at every visit? FAT KIDS! EVERYWHERE! They are ENORMOUS! And they are young. And do you know what fat kids need to see an endocrinologist for? DIABETES. It is absolutely real. There are hundreds of thousands of kids out there far fatter than the human body was ever meant to be at 9, 10, 11 years old, and they are physically paying the price, as is our now extremely over-taxed medical system, from the kids to the obese adults with aches and pains, this problem is REAL. Go search for the obesity map; look at the rates of obesity state by state over the last 20 years. It is HORRIFYING.

      November 29, 2010 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
  4. Lyn

    It's depressing to me to know that I was a part of what I hate about our society. I could have cared less about the media and how women should or should not be or look like. Or men, either. But apparently I turned to food for control when everything else around me was spinning out of control. I wish people would notice that this is not even about food or weight. I just needed a stable foothold in the world. I wanted to feel like I could accomplish something. But, due to the fact that all I grew up around for a female influence was a mother who obsessively worried about weight and praised friends of hers for being skinny, I suppose I had picked up on the priority of being thin at a younger age. This turned into a best friend who made me feel accepted and loved when my family was splitting apart. ( I did not even realize I had developed anorexia, it's not like I chose this). And then my best friend who helped me cope through it all decided to stab me in the back and I almost died. But death was nothing to me. I didn't even think there was a problem residing within me. All I knew was that I did not deserve to eat. I did not want to be a burden and I wanted to disappear. Blah Blah Blah, I went into an in patient program (which I fully recommend for ANYONE who is strugglin with eating problems, because the hospital kicks you to the curb once they've got you to an ideal weight) and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself. I wish I could say more about this but I should stop here. In conclusion to this ramble, I am a twenty year old girl who has lived through this and knows first hand what an eating disorder is like. If you have any questions, ask someone who has credible information.

    November 29, 2010 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • emmmm


      Eating disorders are incredibly misunderstood, I'm sorry you went through all that. Its great that you had the courage to get help with your recovery.

      November 30, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  5. klebinek

    speaking of digestive disorders http://crohnsdiseasediagnosis.blogspot.com/

    November 29, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Lisa

    I agree with Fat Me:
    And I think it's going to get worse. With the media obsession with the "obesity epidemic," parents and children are terrified that they are going to be obese and are constantly dieting.
    My husband has totally bought into the media frenzy of the obesity epidemic and is so obsessed with what the kids eat they actually hide food and eat in secret – like a drug addict or alcoholic. I try to preach moderation, but it gets drowned out by all the hype. People get stressed & feel worthless – too fat – not thin enough. To cope some turn to drugs, alcohol, food, self mutilation, purging or worse. Doing those things only piles on more guilt – it's very very sad.

    November 29, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. dgfg

    yea you have to puke up a little food since its all packed with more calories than you could ever need while not filling you up at all

    November 29, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. A

    Let's face it. Anyone can fall victim to an eating disorder. My dad is 59 years old, and he has an eating disorder. If you've heard of EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), he has it. He only eats a few certain things, avoids eating in front of others, plays with and organizes food, and compulsively and neatly puts leftovers anyway, which he refuses to throw away, and yells when those leftovers sit in the refrigerator.

    November 29, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jackie Morse Kessler

    We have to get it through our heads that it's not about being thin. It's about being healthy. Being too thin can be deadly; so can being too overweight. Eating disorders - whether anorexia or bulimia or binge eating - aren't something people turn on and off. They're not fads. They're diseases. And there are ways to get help. In the US, contact the National Eating Disorders Association.

    November 29, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Devorah

    A lot of things are not addressed in school, particularly, how to be resilient in the face of peer pressure or bullies, how to deal with emotions when they come up, and how not to be so focussed on image but rather the person within. Having wasted my teenage years enveloped in a world where only food, dieting, and thinness were important, i feel for these kids. Would love to chat.

    November 29, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      Check out Restorative Circles.org. These simple ways of addressing conflict are changing the way kids interact and solve problems in Brazil. I took the facilitator training last month with Dominic Barter in Atlanta and was amazed at how simple his method was to teach children to sit in a circle together and to make sure every voice is heard and everyone involved in something as simple as one person calling another a name can be addressed with an action plan. It's a way for groups to own the problem, even adults, families and organizations, and to come together and solve it as a community. What I like about it is that it's all being offered free of charges.

      November 29, 2010 at 23:09 | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Mary, this is funny.
      Kids these days don't want to understand or hear others, they only want to "be on top of all things", beat everyone and be the best of all. Compassion is almost non-existent (unless, of course, they themselves experience grief or problems). As for eating disorders, every major clothing brand out there caters to excessively skinny teens, and kids will try everything they can to get those "cool" brands.

      November 30, 2010 at 00:02 | Report abuse |
  11. Sherry

    I am a 36 year old former anorexic who can totally relate to the article. I think that the increase in the incidents of eating disorders can be attributed to all of the pressures faced by kids today. Our society, as a whole, is so out of control and for most people who develop eating disorders, needing to feel as though you have control over some aspect of your life is a prominent, if not THE, main theme. Feelings of inadequacy/inferiority prevail. For me, depression set in first and then the anorexia. I thought if I could exert that kind of control over my life....everything about life would be "perfect". I wasted the bulk of my teen years in self loathing and abusing my body by denying myself food or, when I would eat, I'd take ipecac to rid myself of what I'd just eaten. I am 100% convinced that the digestive problems I now suffer from (GERD, IBS...etc) is the result of the abuse I subjected myself to. I can't say I'll ever be 100% cured, I still have body image issues but I will never again deny myself 3 meals a day...or that slice of pizza after my boyfriend's 11 year old son's football game or that slice of cake at my parents 40th wedding anniversary.....

    November 29, 2010 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. King Owczarzak

    I confess, I've not came to this website in a very long time. nevertheless it had been another delight to read your fantastic content.

    November 29, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. oh boy

    It wasn't kids or peers from school or work, but my own sister and mother that had gotten on me about how my sister was skinny and I've always been thicker than them (for comparison, I wear a size 9 jeans and weigh 150-played sports all my life so pretty atheletic. I have OCD and acid reflux. Those together make me throw up all the time from stress-especially when I stress about MY BODY. It's a vicious and painful self mutilating cycle that never ends and I can't stop.

    November 29, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mary

    I still struggle with eating when I'm angry instead of letting myself feel the feelings.

    November 29, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Francee Haydel

    This is so sad, but I think will always be an issue! We live in a "try to be Perfect world at all cost society" I am a recovering Anorexic. I developed anorexia at age 12 and was full blown at age 13. I was placed on a Behavior modification program that was both humiliating and counter productive. I am now 42 and through therapy and amazing mentors finally feel like I am in control. For me it was never about food, but about other things lacking in my life. I would love to share more if contacted!!! Thank you for the opportunity!

    November 29, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sue

    I am a 50 year old woman who had mild anorexia as a college student, and am now watching my 17 year old daughter struggle with the same condition. I agree that many anorexics are perfectionists struggling with the need to control their environment. I fear that the current upper-middle class culture, of which we are members, exacerbates the illness by expecting our children participate and excel in too many activities, so they can "live up to their potential". Our children can not possibly meet these expectations, so they turn to one thing of which they have total control: their eating. Society then rewards this behavior by admiring their self-control and svelte figures. For those of you who struggle, seek help. We have found incredible loving support from friends, family, specialists, school counselors, coaches and physicians. There is hope!

    November 29, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marie

      I never had eating disorders, but I absolutely agree with you on the subject of putting too much pressure on our kids. Even though my childhood was far from perfect, I think it was much easier: I was only expected to find a husband and get a college degree (nobody expected participation in Olympic Games). These days, it is not enough to be a good athlete OR a good student, you are expected to be a good athlete AND a good student (and find a perfect partner also). For most, this can't be achieved, so they try to find a relief, and many turn to self-destructive behavior in one form or another: eating too much or not eating enough, alcohol, drugs, high speed driving... whatever it takes to feel successful.

      November 30, 2010 at 00:21 | Report abuse |
  17. deborahwold

    It's true! I felt my energy level improve right away. I was able to get off all the medications I was taking and my self-confidence went through the roof.All because of the weight I lost from "Hypersonic Weight Loss"! Give it a try

    November 30, 2010 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. One who knows

    This article is misguided. For children and young adolescents, eating disorders are about control, not obesity. As childrens' lives become more structured and they are expected to excel at earlier ages, they are in less control of their lives than should be the case. Anorexia grants children a sense of control over their lives, because it is a form of compulsive discipline in which they literally control their body, their mind, their focus, everything.
    This is what it's really about. How do I know? Let's just say I dealt with this when I was 11-12 years old, and I never had been overweight at all, but I was the kid who got 100% on all my tests and was the #1 pitcher on my baseball team and an advanced musician. Let's just say that that was all destroyed by the anorexia. So, please, parents, don't smother your kids. Let them develop themselves. Otherwise, they'll develop a nervous disorder and fail to reach their potential. Funny, I never talk to anyone about this, even my girlfriend, and it's been intentionally forgotten in my family.

    November 30, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Betty

      I LOVE the fact that you are pointing out that anorexia is not about obesity, etc. It isn't even about "the food"....people need to wake up to the fact this is a mental illness and is due to a wide variety of stressors, etc. including society but certainly society is not the only culprit....family life has a lot of influence on this disease.

      December 3, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
  19. Anne

    Of course, no one has all the answers to a complex subject like this one. Perhaps one piece of the puzzle is our need to be more thoughful about not only what we eat, but where it comes from. I recently met a farming couple trying to get back to some basics, on a small scale, in order to offer the healthiest food possible.

    November 30, 2010 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Alicia

    I do not find this article surprising at all. I'm 22 now and first went to rehab at age 13, it's a bit grey but I assume my dietary lifestyle began when I was around 10 or 11. Since then I've been in and out of outpatient treatment programs. I am more curious as to what science is doing trying to understand the disease; will there ever be a cure of sorts?
    It's sad that at 22 I also (as some comments above) have GERD and IBS but I'd rather be thin with these two than obese with diabetes and shortness of breath.

    November 30, 2010 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sarah in Texas

    The picture accompanying this article is really gross. Why is it necessary?

    November 30, 2010 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sara

      That was my first thought too.

      November 30, 2010 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
    • emmmm

      Actually I saw that and thought it was totally appropriate, a huge part of eating disorders (all three, anorexia, bulimia and EDNOS) is binging.

      November 30, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  22. Lindsay

    I have been dealing with anorexia/bulimia for over 11 years, and at 24, that's almost half my life. It's not been pleasant; I have missed out on so much, most notably, the enjoyment of living. I have sacrificed family relationships, friendships, romantic relationships, my grades, jobs and much more. I cannot agree more that it is not about weight entirely. Yes, I want to be thin, yes, I hate the way I look, but it is so much more than that. It is the only way I know how to cope with anything: sadness, happiness, accomplishment, failure. It’s my reward and my punishment. I have been in treatment numerous times, and have had bouts of recovery; however ‘ed,’ as I call him, always seems to creep back into my life. When I feel like I have nothing left, he is there as a constant friend. He reassures me that everything will be okay if I lose a few pounds; that I will be good enough if I reach x weight; that people will like me and care about me when I obtain that goal. It never happens though, five pounds turns into ten, turns into twenty, and pretty soon I’m back in the grips of the eating disorder again. I wish this disease on no one. I will probably never be ‘okay’ with food, and I’ve accepted that. I just hope to one day accept me for who I am, at whatever weight my body wants me to be.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. G

    I blame TV & Video Games for some but not all child obesity. Get the kids outside to run around!! It seems rare to see kids outside playing these days. I joke around with my wife whenever I see kids playing outside I say "Kids still do that these days? It must be coming back in style."

    Parents should get their kids involved in sports, even if the they think they might not be good at sports, get them involved for the exercise.

    November 30, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. KenG

    But, but, but Sara Palin says this is not the governments problem. The childrens parents can fix this problem themselves and we don't need Michelle Obama and government interfering with parents right to raise their own children.

    Is Sara wrong, again?

    November 30, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Granite

      What Sarah Palin enjoys the most is selling books and getting enormous speaking fees. Sarah Palin may not agree with everything that comes out of her own mouth but she knows that the people who buy her books and hear her talk are mainly overweight middle-aged middleclass mothers from the midwest. Sarah Palin will be parroting these women's values, their beliefs and pontificating what makes them happy and feel good until she dies. Overweight midwestern mothers don't want to hear they are poisoning their overweight kids, they want to be told they are wonderful.

      November 30, 2010 at 13:16 | Report abuse |
  25. Boka

    Humans have made food too tasty. If you break down foods to improtant parts carbs, fats protiens and concentrate on those foods. And then leave out all the rest including, sugars, caffine, alcahol and sodium and processed junk. You will lose weight immediately and keep it off.

    November 30, 2010 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Dunn

    The problem is with the parents here. Teach your children to cope and to be healthy. Don't blame the media because some ignorant person is going overboard or has a disease. It is up to the people and those whom care for them to seek out the help they need. Kids will always make fun of each other. You can't and shouldn't change that as it is a part of learning social skills and boundaries. Granted we must impose limits just as we have laws to keep order. Like murder it will continue on some level. Unfortunately, there will always be some who cannot handle it and who cannot escape it. Wake up people. You can't protect everyone from everything in this world. Trying to do so is irrational and ignorant. Life is hard and will always be hard on some level. Be thankful it isn't as hard as it used to be. The great depression, the world wars and more. Say it is worse now and you disgrace those who came before us. Just as life will always have it's trials and tribulations I suppose there will always be some crybabies whining about it.

    November 30, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Michele

    There is much more to eating disorders than anorexia or bulemia, and the guidelines for these are not so clear cut in the drs office. You can't get an accurate diagnosis on these in just a few appts. My daughter is a perfect case for this. This past Feb. we came home on a Sunday night from her grandmothers, and she started throwing up. We had eaten dinner there, not a whole lot, but I just figured it was just a bug. I kept her home from school, and everything she ate, when I did let her eat bland stuff, came right back up within a few minutes a starting to eat. This was the pattern for 4 days, then she was put in the hospital for dehydration. 9 days, a hospital transfer and upper GI later, she goes home with a Naso-Gastric tube, with the belief that a virus has really messed up her stomach lining, causing gastroparesis. After 2 weeks, they pull the tube. She does fine for a little while, then it starts again. Tube goes back in, and the dr puts on her intake papers he suspects anorexia. After go round and round with the drs about why that was on there, because she definitely didn't fit what we as parents learned about the basics of it, come to find out he was suspecting some eating disorder, and had to put down something, and that there are very atypical forms of not only anorexia and bulemia, and he felt she may fall into this catagory. So, the tube ended up staying in for awhile this time, and we start seeing a counselor who specializes in eating disorders. She too, felt that it was very atypical, but did not feel my daughter's case was an eating disorder case. She is very athletic, always eats very well, never really concerned about her weight, sometimes more curious than anything else, to make sure she is "right" about it, but where she did fit the profile was that she is a perfectionist about most everything, and very emotional about it as well.
    SOOO, after one more stint in the hospital (luckily the last 2 times were only a day or two) her GI dr here at home sends us to UNC's pediatric GI clinic to get a 2nd opinion. We still have a NG tube in at this time, and all this has been going on for almost 4 months now. At this point though, things are improving to the point I am thinking the tube should come out, but I want to wait and see what the dr at UNC says. So, after a gastric emptying scan, the diagnosis goes back to what it was at the very beginning. Gastroparesis cause by a virus.
    I am happy to say a couple weeks after that, the tube came out, and has been out every since, and this past August, she was released from her GI drs care. The one thing that has changed, is that my daughter did come to me recently and tell me that she did exaggerate some of her symptoms towards the end, probably the last few weeks, because she was enjoying the attention, but my husband and I had already guessed that!
    I guess what I am trying to say, is that there is no typical eating disorder, and to stay involved in your child's diagnosis. We knew this was not an eating disorder, at least in the normal sense of the word, and our daughter may have gotten put down the wrong treatment path if we had not been vigilant in letting our concerns be known. Seeing the counselor did do some good for her, and I am glad she went, but letting the dr know up front we didn't agree was probably the best thing we did throughout this whole ordeal.
    I hope that this helps at least someone....

    November 30, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Maria

    I would like to note that there is a drastic difference between anorexia or bulimia and crash dieting. Anorexia and bulimia are mental disorders that evolve oftentimes from perfectionism and control issues. Of course, self-esteem and body image contribute to this but, having gone through an eating disorder myself, I would say that little events that undermine the sense that you are in control makes things worse, as opposed being exposed to the media's ideal. Crash dieting, however, is an effect of the media–the whole wanting to have a perfect body, etc. Frankly, I never take articles like this seriously because most people don't realize the difference between an eating disorder and a fad.

    November 30, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Teri

    What really annoys me about the responses to my first post, is A) that my son's weight is my fault; and B) that my son and I have done nothing about it. The kid is 5'6 and weighs 130 lbs. now. His Grandfather was 6'7 so the kid is going to be big kid no matter what. He just went through a period in his life where his weight was the same but his height was less but this is not the case any longer. I just love how someone always has to find fault with someone's post. That goes back to where the problems we have as a society prove to be correct. Some of you are being judgemental! People need to stop worrying about other's and start worrying about their own faults. I must have touched a nerve to make you feel so defensive.

    And in response to the other posts, I have spoken to the school, the guidance counselor, the asssistant principal and the police officer all at the school about my concerns. And since then the taunting has stopped but nonetheless it has already caused emotional damage to my son as he still feels inadequate even though he has grown 3 inches taller. And it has nothing to do with what I've told or taught my son, He has always been shown lots of love and acceptance on my end, I have never ever told him he was fat or anything. In fact the opposite that he is going to get too thin if he keeps obsessing about this. The doctor says he is now underweight 7-9 lbs for his height. The kid will more than likely be 6'3 when he is fully grown. I am not encouraging him to gain more weight or lose it. I'm encouraging him to love himself no matter what others think as that is what is truly important. And I'm a single parent and his dad is very much involved in his life but does not lecture him on his weight either. I suppose the next attack in the comments will be that it is my fault as I'm a single parent.

    Now you can bet, if the bullying starts to happen again, I will pull him out of this school. But what is wrong with society that they are so preoccupied with being "perfect". Perfect in who's eyes? Are they being compared to all of the celebrities who have all had plastic surgery because they are worried about not being perfect either? It shouldn't matter what anyone thinks but unfortunately for a young kid who is very concerned with what he feels his peers think, what it boils down to is what those other kids parents and peers and society teach the kids. They wouldn't speak to another kid about their faults unless they are hearing it from others or at home.

    What is truly sad is that people are so judgemental and rude these days. No one has any manners anymore. Sometimes people need to keep their mouths shut, smile, say please and thank you and no one even does that anymore these days. At least I've taught my kid manners, he still holds the door for people and always says thank you, and never talks about anyone else except for what they say about him. I can rest assured that I'm being the best parent I can. But it's time for other parents to step up as well and teach their kids what is and isn't acceptable. And making fun of someone because they are different has to stop.

    November 30, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. SCOTT

    My son is going thru this right now but swears he dont have no eating disorder, he eats once or twice a day and lost over 25 pounds and is 12 years old in the past few months, footballl coach told him he was too big and wanted more quick an agile players, and a girl called him fat so the school and kids are to blame, also noticed every time he ate he would go to the bathroom, i followed him a couple times to make sure he wasnt trying to throw up, its getting rediclious

    November 30, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Leigh

    I was anorexic from 11th grade thru 12th grade. I remember standing on a scale full clothed with a winter jacket and weighing under 100 pounds and being very proud of myself. I'm about 5 feet 4 inches tall. I'd spend hours obsessing over my belly and if it showed fat depending how i would move. I analyzed everything I ate and worked out obsessively. I was an A student, had friends in school, but was a real introvert. For me, I do think it was about power and control. It was also about teachers, aunts and complete strangers commenting on my being too thin, but my own mother, who would tell me at the age of 7 that I had fat thighs, never saying anything about it at all. Oh wait, once she said to me, "Do you realize that all you talk about is food?" For me, recovery came when I realized I could have my own life and it could be great, but that i needed to not frail and exhausted. I had great friends who listened to me and helped me. Without them, I don't know.

    November 30, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. shortgirl

    I applaud efforts to curtain childhood obesity, but the guidelines being used by pediatricians today are ridiculous. My son came home with a note last week stating that the school nurse believes him to be overweight. He is six years old, 44 inches tall, and weighs 54 lbs. The nurse said that a healthy weight for him would be NO MORE THAN 46 lbs. Seriously??? There is nothing fat about my child. He doesn't have a belly, and he hardly eats sweets. We don't give him soda, and most days, he'd actually prefer applesauce, oranges, or a banana to a cookie. He plays soccer and does karate, and is very active. There are lots of children out there who are clearly overweight, and I think pediatricians have a responsibility to help get those children (and their parents) healthier. But there are also lots of kids who are not overweight who are getting painted with the "obese" or "overweight" label, when they clearly are not, and I can only imagine the detrimental impact that will have on kids who now think that they're "fat." My child can still wear size 5 and size 6 pants and clothes. It's not like we had to upsize him because he's SO BIG. I can only imagine the impact that this type of label would have on an 8 or 10 year old girl: "Hey, guess what, the school nurse thinks you're fat."

    November 30, 2010 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Betty

      That is ridiculous! 46 lbs! My daughter is very tall for her age....4' 9" tall at 8 years old and weighs over 100 lbs...she is solid as a rock....in swimming, volleyball etc. Could she lose 5 lbs? Sure...but I would NEVER tell her that...I just encourage her to keep her body healthy and each growth spurt causes her to "look" slimmer...then they chub out a little...then growth spurt......I don't like child obesity but the note you received is abusive in my humble opinion.

      December 3, 2010 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
  33. razzlea

    with the media obsession with being thin and looking a certain way like the models on a VS catalog where we know its not realistic and things dont seem to change , with that the kids get effected and this is the results you get. Check out my health and fintess blog http://razzlea.blogspot.com/

    December 1, 2010 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Johanna Kandel

    I battled anorexia, exercise bulimia, and binge eating disorder from the age of 12 until 21. My eating disorder started as an innocent diet and quickly spirled into a very dangerous eating disorder. For more than 10 years my eating disorder was the first thing I thought of every morning, the last thing I thought about every night and every other thought in between. I never thought that recovery was possible. When I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I reached out for help. Recovery was not perfect and probably the most difficult thing I have ever done, but without a doubt the best thing I have ever done. I went from barely surviving to thriving.
    As a result of my battle and as a way to give back, I founded The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness (www.allianceforeatingdisorders.com) 10 years ago. The Alliance is dedicated to the outreach, education, prevention and advocacy of eating disorders and positive body image. My first book, Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder, came out 2 months ago.

    December 2, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Nicole

    Agreed! There is a fine line between eating healthy and developing one of the "lesser known" eating disorders like orthorexia nervosa. This is a delicate topic and should be addressed with children in a non threatening way.


    December 9, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Morgan

    Here is an important resource for parents going through this with their children – Give Food A Chance by Dr. Julie O'Toole. Dr. O'Toole founded the Kartini Clinic in Portland OR, a treatment facility that specializes in treating teens and children with ED

    December 30, 2010 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rosy

    My daughter is going thru this right now but swears she doesn't have a eating disorder. Her ballet teacher told her she might be 10 pounds over weight. I now notice she doesn't eat much and if she does she goes straight to the bathroom. It's ridiculous that I have to follow her and make her eat. I found a Residential Treatment Center for Troubled Teens that teaches teens with eating disorders to eat healthy and exercise, which is the healthiest way to lose weight! Here's a link to a article from the treatment center; http://eagleranchacademy.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/eagle-ranch-academy-provides-fitness-and-nutrition-support-for-teens-struggling-with-obesity-and-eating-disorders.

    June 27, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Adekoya

    A step that should be taken next with this issue is increased public awareness of eating disorders. I believe that it’s important that healthy eating habits be promoted throughout the media and in classrooms. Children at an early age should be taught the value of having a positive self-image and should learn to like the parts of them that are considered “unattractive” by the mass public. With increased public awareness, the hope is that more research will be done on the cause of eating disorders which will hopefully paint a picture of what it’s like to live with a mental illness.

    November 29, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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