Eating Disorders in Children

Eating disorders affect people of all ages; Write an essay about eating disorders in children.

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Eating Disorders in Children



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Eating Disorders in Children

“I won’t let a number on a scale own me” is a famous quote by Mercy Ajib. According to Scaglioni et al. (2018), “Food provides nutrients and gives energy because the nutrients are essential for human health, but also other compounds continue to be identified in foods, and their health properties are becoming better understood” (p.1). S caglioni et al. (2018) also stated that “the correlation between nutrients, foods, and dietary patterns has important implications, especially for prevention and development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes (P.1). “Food preferences continue changing throughout life, under the influence of biological, social, and environmental factors; these preferences are key determinants of food choices, and therefore diet quality (Scaglioni et al., 2018 p.1). According to Mairs et al. (2016), “Feeding and eating disorders (FEDs) are serious mental health disorders that cause impairments in physical health, development, cognition and psychosocial function and can go undetected for months or years and they are characterized by disturbed eating behavior associated with concerns about weight and shape or by disinterest in food, phobic avoidance or avoidance due to sensory aspects of food. Restrictive forms of FEDs lead to significant weight loss requiring intervention” (p.1). “The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 10 criteria are currently under revision but, currently, FDs in ICD 10 are classified separately from EDs, a separation reflected in clinical practice in the UK; This means that the scope of many ED services, clinical guidelines, training and clinical commissioning networks explicitly excludes FD/ ARFID, a distinction that has unhelpful implications for research as well as for service planning. Obesity is not classified as a FED” (Mairs et al., 2016 p.1). Mairs et al. (2016) also stated that “the victims without specific knowledge of these conditions, they can evade detection, delaying time to diagnosis and treatment and potentially influencing outcome and there are four feeding or eating disorders (EDs): anorexia nervosa, avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder” (Mairs et al., 2016 p.1). If untreated, the outcome of eating disorders is extremely poor. Mairs et al. (2016) also stated that “early intervention appears more promising than interventions for established and chronic illness and of key importance, FEDs require both pediatric and mental health expertise across the spectrum of presentations” (p.1). Children also suffer from eating disorders, which should be addressed before it gets out of hand and leads to their death.

Does Eating Disorders Affect Children?

Eating occurs to all people, even children. According to DeCosta et al. (2017) “the interest in children’s eating behaviours and how to change them has been growing in recent year” (p.1).  According to Mairs et al. (2016), “The eating Disorders Examination (EDE), considered the ‘gold standard’, assesses ED symptoms over the preceding 28 days and it is validated for diagnosis in adults and adolescents down to age 9, although the children’s (ChEDE) version is generally used for children and adolescents aged ≥7 years” (p.1). “In children and young people, information from parents and cares is needed to corroborate the diagnosis and adolescents and children tend to score lower than adults, and young people with AN and boys tend to have lower scores than those with BN” (Mairs et al., 2016 p.1). “DSM-5’s reclassification of FEDs in 2013 means that more young people meet diagnostic criteria for a specific feeding disorder (FD) or eating disorder (ED) than previously (Mairs et al., 2016, p.1). “The criteria needed to make a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN) have been broadened, and new diagnoses such as binge eating disorders (BED), night eating syndrome, purging disorder and avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) included” (Mairs et al., 2016 p.1). “It is therefore important to compare scores to the age-appropriate normative data. Training is required, and the Development and Wellbeing Assessment (DAWBA) generates likely DSM diagnoses on the basis of both parent and self-report, corroborated by clinician review and can be completed online (Mairs et al., 2016, p.1). Mairs et al. (2016) also stated that “Outpatient-based care is as effective as inpatient and more cost effective14 provided the child is medically stable and psychiatric risk can be managed; Medical unstable patients will require inpatient stabilization in either a pediatric or psychiatric setting before discharge to outpatient care and most specialist services offer a range of treatment options from outpatient, intensive treatments with meal support, and access to day programs and inpatient treatment” (p.1). Targets for weekly weight gain are generally 0.5–1 kg in the inpatient setting and 0.5 kg in outpatient setting. Thus, Eating occurs to all people, even children, and it should be addressed and treatment provided to the children who are victims.


I n conclusion, eating disorders are mental conditions that should be addressed, especially in children. T their main characteristic is the fact that they influence how a person sees themselves and their view of their bodies. Eating disorders affect everyone regardless of their gender, age and background, but they are more prevalent in women. Victims of eating disorders fear gaining weight, which makes them restrict their eating capacity. Eating disorders in children should be given a priority because the children are prone to face severe consequences even death.




DeCosta, P., Møller, P., Frøst, M. B., & Olsen, A. (2017). Changing children’s eating behaviour-A review of experimental research. Appetite, 113, 327-357.

Mairs, R., & Nicholls, D. (2016). Assessment and treatment of eating disorders in children and adolescents. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 101(12), 1168-1175.

Scaglioni, S., De Cosmi, V., Ciappolino, V., Parazzini, F., Brambilla, P., & Agostoni, C. (2018). Factors influencing children’s eating behaviours. Nutrients, 10(6), 706.






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