When to Suspect
Binge Eating in Children and Teenagers? 

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Binge eating is common among children, but unfortunately misses the concern of parents as an abnormal eating pattern during early years. It is first noticed only in teens, when its emotional and physical impact begin to affect teenagers’ health.

Childhood development, though seldom acknowledged, is a stressful phase of life. The stress in children increases as their environment expands. Innate ability to adapt varies. And also varies the individual circumstances that bring up changes and force adaptability. Usual changes that parents plan have impact on their children’s emotional and social well being as well.

Children express their stress as temper tantrums or by indulging in compulsive eating spree, and both are perceived as bad behavior rather than their cry for help: The attitude that puts the binge eating cycle in motion.

Binge Eating Cycle

Tell-tale signs of binge eating

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Characteristics of eating binges

  •  Avoid eating with family members at the table.

  • Eat rapidly.

  • Eat even when not hungry:
    Before indulging in binging, bingers are often noted to be wondering, feeling disturbed or even being agitated in effort to overcome their compulsive desire to eat.

  • Guilt and depression follows after an episode of compulsive eating, for they detest their inability to control their desire for food. 

  • Continuously and genuinely strive to reduce weight with little success.

  • Compulsive eating spree often ends in bulimia.

Parents’ role

The stress associated with eating binge needs to be recognized and counselled, and who can do it better than caring parents! Children do not recognize the stress they go through, parents should. 

Bingers are usually looked upon as greedy ill behaved children, which further bruises their self concept. Continuous disciplinary actions and weight control advice aggravate stress, leads to rifts between parents and children and exacerbates emotional reasons to binge eat all the more.

Early cognitive behavior therapy gives good results in cases of
binge eating disorder

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