Fussy Eating or Eating Disorder?

8189c5ca-8260-4a6c-bb18-c7643df2ea59Fussy eaters, often  do not eat fruits or vegetable. It does not matter what your personal likes and dislikes are – if you are at a point where you limit the range of foods that you eat more than what is good for you, then it is time to do something about it.  But being a fussy eater does not necessarily mean that you are healthier. In fact, you might deprive yourself of important foods that could help to strengthen your help even more.

Eating Disorder prevents consumption of certain foods. It is often viewed as a phase of childhood that is generally overcome with age. Children may not grow out of the disorder, however, and may continue to be afflicted throughout their adulthood.   Being selective about the foods that you eat is good for you.  If more people would consider their eating options a bit more carefully and wisely, there would be much less of a health problem.

An increasing number of children have been reported as being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Figures released last month by 35 hospitals in England reveal that 2000 children under the age of 13 have been admitted to hospital with an eating disorder in the last three years. Even more shocking perhaps, is that almost 200 of that number were between the ages of five and nine. The true figure is expected to be even higher as many families try to combat the problem at home.

Many factors are contributed to the trend including the much publicised detrimental effect of the airbrushed magazine models and ‘size 0’ culture. Playground bullying has always been an issue associated with many childhood problems and are likely to continue however much we try to dissuade it.

Surprisingly though, another influence that has been linked to the problem is seemingly well-intentioned teachers and the initiative of Personal, Health, Social and Economic Education classes (PHSE). Since 2006, many primary schools have been encouraged to ‘screen’ children at the ages of four and 10. Those with an above-average body mass index have a letter sent home to their parents, seemingly without taking into consideration if the child is heavier because of a bigger frame or muscular due to sport.

Along with this screening, PHSE classes are given to children from Reception onwards. During these lessons, healthy eating and anti-obesity initiatives are taught, maybe leading to some children feeling self-conscious of their weight and taking advice to extremes.

Most parents are understandably unaware of what symptoms to look out for when a child becomes troubled over their body shape. Most think that sudden changes in diet or exercise are a phase or the normal angst of growing up.

With the ‘body perfect’ social pressures coming in at all angles to most adults, we need to try not to project it onto our children. Childhood is definitely for being a kid, not worrying about what a burger will do to their waistline.

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