Understanding Eating Disorders in Children

Fussy Eating vs Eating Disorders

A ‘fussy’ eating stage can be a normal part of children’s development. They may not like the taste, shape, colour or texture of particular foods. They may like something one day but dislike it the next. They may refuse to eat vegetables or to try new foods.

It’s a way of exploring their environment and asserting their independence, and their appetites can go up and down depending on how much they’re growing and how active they are.

So, what are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are not just about food. They are serious, complex mental illnesses affecting people of all ages, genders, ethnicities and backgrounds.

Eating disorders can cause serious harm both physically and emotionally, and they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

Statistically, eating disorders affect more females than males and early signs can begin when a child is 8 years old or younger. Since lockdown, the number of children with eating disorders and other mental health issues has risen dramatically.

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