In today’s society there is a lot of pressure on teenagers to “fit-in” by wearing the right clothes, being seen in the right places and having the right body. However, who determines what is “right”? Pop culture can give the impression you have to be super thin to fit in. This leads many teenagers to feel overweight even when their weight is normal. These feelings can lead to depression and anxiety causing some teens to make bad decisions in their eating habits.
Are You at Risk?
Eating disorders are very serious and may be life-threatening. Two of the most common disorders are anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia causes a person to starve themselves to lose weight. Bulimia occurs when someone purges themselves after a meal to get rid of the food they ate.
An exact cause of eating disorders has not yet been proven. However, there are many factors that increase someone’s likelihood of developing one. Some of these factors include:
- Low self-esteem
- Depression and OCD
- Feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
- Trouble coping with emotions or expressing your emotions
- relationship problems
- Peer pressure or bullying
- Overemphasis on appearance and social standards
If you think you are at risk for developing an eating disorder, or have a friend at risk, there is help available. The link below provides an opportunity to take a free, anonymous self-assessment to gauge risk of an eating disorder. The anonymous online screening, provided by the National Eating Disorders Association, takes only a few minutes and consists of a series of questions, developed by treatment professionals in the eating disorders field, which are designed to indicate whether clinical help is needed.
If you have an eating problem, GHS has counselors and nutritionists on staff who can help. Call 1 (844) GHS-DOCS (447-3627) to find out where you may seek treatment.
A Healthy Lifestyle Program
If you are overweight and need help reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, Children’s Hospital of GHS offers a healthy, comprehensive and unique weight management program for children up to age 21. Using a multidisciplinary team approach, kids are empowered to develop active, healthy lifestyles by focusing on the eating and exercise behavior of the entire family.
Learn more about New Impact.