How to Recognise Eating Disorders

Childhood Eating Disorders

The Food Doctor
By Yvonne Green MBACP (Accred)

Qualified Counsellor and Eating Therapist at The Food Doctor

As parents it can be very difficult to know if our child may have food issues or may be developing an eating disorder. This isn’t easy to spot and our child may be reluctant to tell us or even talk about it. You may believe that they are behaving strangely or acting obsessively. They may be losing weight continuously and you are concerned for their health. Knowing what to look for can be very helpful and if you feel your child is exhibiting any of the following behaviours, it may be time to think about taking some action. If you are concerned or worried seek help either from a GP or a professional therapist.


What is it? Seeking to achieve a low weight by restricted eating

What to look for – initial signs:

  • Commitment to dieting, frequent weighing
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Secretive behaviour around food
  • Excessive exercise
  • Insomnia
  • Denial of any problem, often aggressive
  • Conviction that low weight is desirable
  • Ritual behaviours
  • Fear of normal body weight
  • Continuous viewing of internet sites relating to food and weight loss
  • Interest in cooking but not eating


What is it? Bingeing followed by purging to prevent weight gain

What to look for – initial signs:

  • Disappearing to the bathroom after a meal
  • Staying up late and going to the kitchen to eat
  • Large quantities of food disappearing
  • Unexplained irritability and mood swings
  • Finding hidden food wrappers
  • Secret stash of food
  • Constant cold-like symptoms
  • Eating very quickly without enjoying food

Binge / Compulsive Eating

What is it? Eating large amounts of food beyond hunger

What to look for – initial signs:

  • Eating in response to an upsetting event
  • Mindless eating, while doing other activities
  • Grazing or picking at food all day
  • Out of control eating
  • Feelings of guilt after over eating
  • Bingeing more than twice a week

Karen Meets…Yvonne Green

How to Recognise if Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

Click here to watch video

In this video I speak to Yvonne Green, qualified Counsellor and Eating Therapist at The Food Doctor Clinic, Harley St, London, about how to spot if your child is just fussy or has an actual disorder, and what you should do about it.


Yvonne sees clients at The Food Doctor Clinic, 13 Harley Street, London W1G 9QG (020) 7792 6720

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