With more than half of teenage girls and nearly a third
of boys using unhealthy behaviors to control their weight,
experts at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
offer 10 tips to catch the warning signs of anorexia or
Dramatic loss of weight.
Preoccupation with calorie-counting.
Frequent use of a weight scale.
Obsession with exercise.
Binge eating and/or purging.
Food "rituals" -- taking tiny bites, ignoring certain
food groups, rearranging food on the plate.
Eating alone, or avoiding meals altogether.
Use of laxatives/diuretics.
Smoking aimed at suppressing appetite.
Frequent criticism of self as "fat," which increases
despite weight loss.
NEDA experts note that the median onset of anorexia for
girls is between the ages of 11 and 13, but the disease
has been noted even in elementary school children.
And even though anorexia and bulimia carry the highest
death rates of any psychiatric illness, a report issued
Thursday by Harvard University researchers found that
fewer than half of those with a history of an eating disorder
said they had ever received treatment.