Eating Disorders and Behaviors
Eating disorders are behaviors that can lead to serious health problems. These behaviors can begin as a child, and affect both girls and boys. When discovered early, eating disorders are treatable. In 2013, Virginia passed a law requiring every school system provide information to parents annually about eating disorders. This information is given to parents of students in the fifth through twelfth grades.
It is important to note that eating disorders are not identified based on weight changes as much as behaviors and attitudes. Signs of eating disorders may differ between males and females and in different age groups. Often, a young person may not recognize the signs that they might have an eating disorder. Parents/guardians and family members are in a position to notice behaviors that cause concern. It is important that a child with an eating disorder be treated early by someone who understands this type of care.
If you think your child may be showing signs of a possible eating disorder, please contact your doctor, school nurse, or one of the resources listed below.
- Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) https://www.aedweb.org/
- Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders (F.E.A.S.T.) www.feast-ed.org
- National Eating Disorders Association Toll free, confidential Helpline, 1-800-931-2237 www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
- Eating Disorders Fact Sheet
Additional resources may be found at:
- Virginia Department of Education
- http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/index.shtml, under the section titled, Eating Disorders