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Parent example is key to preventing eating disorders, with anorexia and bulimia

Parent example is key to preventing eating disorders, with anorexia and bulimia

Eating disorders are a very complex and diverse "family" of disorders or disorders. Usually we have notion of eating disorders such as anorexia and obesity. But there are other disorders that present a very early onset, even in the first days of birth. So, before we speak of its prevention, I believe we need to mention some of these lesser known eating disorders.

One of these is selective eating disorder (SAD), in which carriers have difficulty eating certain foods based on texture or aroma. The food that the sufferers of this disorder can eat can be limited to certain types of food or even to specific brands of food. In some cases, affected individuals even exclude entire groups of foods, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes they may refuse food by color. Or they may prefer only hot or chilled, crispy or very soft foods, or foods with no sauce.

Most individuals have a healthy body or normal weight. There are no external and apparent symptoms associated with selective eating disorder. This means that it is not possible to identify an individual affected by this disorder through their appearance. The causes are not yet known by scientists, but there are hypotheses of biological and psychological components in the etiology of this disorder. Determining the causes of selective eating disorder, however, has been difficult because of the lack of a concrete definition and criteria for diagnosis. However, probable causes have been proposed:

  • Existence of some relation between those with selective eating disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Existence of a relationship also with anxiety disorders (food phobias that cause great anxiety when a
  • TAS and Superpaladar: Some studies suggest that individuals affected by SAD may have a very sharp taste, which causes this rejection to have stronger flavors.

I made these initial settings because I get in the clinic parents with children who present selective eating disorder in a true state of "despair". Because they do not understand that it is a disorder, and not a whim or a way to get attention, they often adopt "educational" methods that are actually catastrophic: they force the child to eat, they impose punishments, and "meal time" becomes a true war for all, and the child or adolescent simply can not explain why he can not eat certain foods. We have also seen erroneous diagnoses by physicians, psychologists, and even eating disorder specialists about the right orientation toward the patient.

Prevention of Eating Disorders

With this explained, it is easier to explain in prevention of this type of disorder . Keeping a healthy diet can be a big challenge in today's world. The daily rush, media pressure from the food industry to induce poor eating habits hinder creativity and variety in preparing and choosing foods. The habits of everyday life have changed significantly. The family lunch has almost disappeared, dinner does not bring the family around the table anymore, but the TV or each one on your computer with lots of empty calories.

Children currently feed in front of the TV and eat excessively what they should not eat: soda replaced juice and milk, snacks took the place of meals, more and more packs of new snacks and snacks illustrated with TV characters, ice creams. We have a growing childhood obesity and at the same time obese children, but ironically malnourished, that is, lacking micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.Among the many causes that cause poor eating habits we can mention:

The current rush of the world associated with lack of time to eat, leading to the preference for fast food instead of a balanced diet

  • The frequent use of industrialized products, This preference results in a disordered appetite
  • Poor chewing and irregular hours resulting in poor digestion and consequently problems in the digestive system
  • The frequent use of processed products and products with a high amount of salt that contribute to the development of high blood pressure and chemical additives that, when used, can trigger malignant tumors
  • The indiscipline of food, which contributes to an increase of the exaggerated consumption of foods with excess fat, especially the saturated one, causing increase of the cholesterol in the blood. And avoiding all these habits is one way to prevent some of the the most common. At this point, the example of parents is fundamental in several aspects: firstly, by practicing a healthy diet. Of course, we understand that many parents can not eat every meal with their children, but should advise them about healthy eating, about the dangers of excess preservatives, sodium, dyes, and other items in industrialized foods. it is of fundamental importance to understand if any family member has any type of alimentary problem: be it an eating disorder, an intolerance or a selectivity. Try to get informed, understand and seek help. Forcing feeding at any cost because of your own anguish at seeing your child not feed only makes the problem worse.
  • How to talk to your children about it?

The family approach I recommend will always be the sympathetic dialogue , based on affection and affection. Of course if the disorder worsens, there will be a need for a specialist or group of specialists. It is important to emphasize that it is essential that the adolescent has a good relationship with the professionals and with the proposed treatment, because this does not always occur.

The signs are of very different eating disorders, as they depend on the type of disorder presented.

In the case of one of the most disturbing disorders is anorexia nervosa, which may present the following signs:

Intense weight loss

Excessive care with food

Excuses for not eating or eating alone

  • Isolation, mood swings and aggression
  • Excessive physical exercise
  • Vomiting and use of laxatives
  • Attitude too critical about your image
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Bulimia is another common disorder, in which the person has episodes (at least twice a week) of eating rambunctiously much more than a normal person in the same period. After these episodes, various methods are used to compensate for caloric gain, such as purgative techniques, compensatory exercises and long periods of fasting.
  • Vigorexia is a disease in which the obsession with a muscular and attractive body, almost always in men. It involves an obsessive muscle training and feeding geared towards the maintenance of this body with frequent use of anabolics. There is also body image disorder or cor- poral dysmorphic disorder (BDD), in which the person presents an obsessive preoccupation with some imagined or perceived bodily defect. of minimal reality, which affects physical appearance. The term dysmorphia is a Greek word meaning "ugliness", especially on the face. More often this pathology occurs in adolescents of both sexes, but can also occur in adults, especially in women. The body image disorder consists of thoughts with obsessive characteristics, resistant to all objective demonstrations to the contrary (like the opinion of other people, mirrors, scales, photos, etc.), besides being intrusive to the conscience and usually accompanied by rituals , characteristics that are also very similar to obsessive thoughts.
  • For the family, however, there is no easy or difficult disorder, because in all of them there will be a need for family involvement in a constructive sense: understanding, support, acceptance, encouragement. We must not forget that a key part of the family involvement that is the example. The example of healthy eating by parents requires changing habits and customs, and this is not always easy. We can not charge or expect something we do not practice. The example has to come from home!


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