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The Good Parenting Food Guide: Managing What Children Eat Without Making Food a Problem by Jane Ogden

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7

Eating disorders

Prevalence, consequences, and causes

There are many different eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa (AN) (excessive weight loss), bulimia nervosa (BN) (bingeing and purging), binge eating disorder (BED) (binge eating but without purging), orthorexia (excessive concern about healthy eating), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) (a general term for other forms of eating disorders which don't quite fulfill the criteria for other problems). This chapter will focus on AN and BN as they tend to be the most well-known forms of eating disorders and often generate the most concern in parents. Many of their characteristics, however, are also relevant to other forms of eating disorders. How eating disorders can be prevented and possible treatments are described in the next chapter (Chapter 8). This chapter will explore the following:
  • What are AN and BN?
  • How common are they?
  • What do people with AN and BN do?
  • What are the consequences of AN and BN?
  • What are their causes?
Good parenting …
Having a child with an eating disorder is extremely upsetting for parents as they can feel powerless and frightened about the future. They may also worry about what they have done wrong and sometimes parents can turn against each other in their struggle to make sense of what has happened. Having an eating disorder is also extremely distressing for the child and can color all aspects of their life including their school work, friends, and relationship with their ...

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