Eating behavior abnormal? Red flags to be watched out for
Is your teenage daughter suddenly cringing at the sight of her favorite foods, one too many a times? Be careful it maybe a red flag for an eating disorder:
Altered eating habits
Whenever there is an advent of an eating disorder it will show up as “abnormal eating behaviors”. This should be ignored if the person has had a dislike for particular food stuff for a long time. Its only when a favorite food is scorned and aversions develop.
What if your daughter gorged on a plateful of French fries in the past and then refuses to put a single fry in her mouth? This is when your shackles should rise. See if your child is refusing to eat, shying away from eating in a group, feeling sick at the sight of food, or not hungry then start seeking help.
Their opinion about themselves
Body image perception leads to volumes of self doubt in a person. Body image is the way a person interprets what others are thinking about him or her. As one starts to develop an eating disorder because of bad body image, you will see them obsessively scrutinize their size at all odd hours in front of the mirror.
You will hear them talk about the size of their hips, stomach and thighs. If a person’s comment on the outer appearance and makes you jittery about your body image and you give up on food because of the rising self doubt, then it’s time to make a visit to an anorexia, bulimia or binge eating clinic.
Eating safe foods
Is your child skipping meals or eating only certain “calorie free foods”? You may catch your teenager flushing food down the toilet or throwing the food concealed in papers in the bin. They may be eating safe foods like raw carrots etc that can be counted calorie free.
The people with eating disorders also spit out foods as they chew them a little in their mouth. You can also be carefully if they demand a rigid food time table, collect recipes, complain of their size, crib about the heavy foods, cook elaborately but refuse to take a bite.They may be spending hours in the bathrooms to avoid food, or throw up what’s eaten.
You may have noticed that people take to wearing loose and baggy clothes, so that their figure is hidden from others, and they don’t relish eating their meals in public- Careful, it is a sure shot sign for concern. They may start to shy away from get together’s and social dos because of their size. They need to realize that skinny doesn’t make them more acceptable.
Not all children are anorexic or bulimic; there are others who go for compulsive eating. They eat heavy and calorie rich sweet foods and start to follow an aggressive regular exercise regime. They need help from an eating disorder center as they get tired easily on exercising; it’s only the will power that makes them carry on.
Generally, people with eating disorders resort to anger, when they are questioned about the issue. They beat about the bush and have mood swings that are shadowed by despair and hopelessness and may have tendency to harm themselves, attend to their cry of help.