While eating disorders can affect anyone at any age, recent statistics have revealed that it has now become more prevalent among young children, especially teenagers.
Bodywhys, the Eating Disorders Association of Ireland, has revealed that there are now 20,000 people affected by eating disorders in Ireland and 10% of cases of anorexia are now occurring in those aged under 10. 
While here are some of the most common forms of eating disorders, it is important to remember they can overlap and you’re teen’s experience can differ from what is listed below.
Anorexia: Where you’re teen refuses to eat sufficient amount of food out of an irrational fear of gaining weight.
Binge Eating: Your son or daughter could over eat a large amount of food in a short period of time and often go on sporadic diets only to regress in secret to binge eating habits.
Bulimia: Where your child could binge eat and then rids the food by either vomiting or using laxatives.
EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified): Is an eating disorder that doesn’t necessarily meet the criteria of the three above. Sometimes your teen can exhibit all of the above or only a few signs of the most common eating disorders.
If your teen is going through some of the above eating disorders or the possibility a mixture of all four of them, approach them gently on the topic and raise your concerns.
It is important to remember, when you are talking to your child about your concerns, to keep in mind that their eating disorder may be a way for them to cope and by asking them to stop, you are asking them to take away what is most comfortable to them.
Your teen may initially be in denial about their eating behaviours or meet you aggressively when you bring up the topic with them. Thankfully, there are many places you can go to for support which can depend what is best for you and your teen, as an eating disorder can not only affect your child but your family as well.
For more information on eating disorders and how to help visit the Bodywhys site.