Eating Disorders in Children: A Comprehensive Guide

Parents should instill healthy habits in children from an early age. They must follow certain tips and tricks to teach good eating habits to their kids so that later they can stay mentally & physically active and have a good lifestyle. Ignoring their abnormal eating habits may lead to severe problems, like disorders, in the future. 

Children suffer from eating disorders worldwide for many reasons. Social & cultural influences and psychological factors may contribute to developing disorders. It leads to many negative physical and psychological changes in a child’s body. 

As parents and guardians, you must be aware of such disorders so that you can observe any unusual behavior in your child and seek immediate medical attention. If you observe any inappropriate eating behavior or response in your kid, you can visit or contact the best diagnostic center nearby. If a situation arises that you are unable to visit the lab, you may look for home collection services. The healthcare experts may do pathology tests & other relevant diagnoses to provide accurate medical reports. 

What Are Eating Disorders

Eating disorders result from unusual mental conditions and attitudes towards food, body shape, and weight. These involve unfavorable behaviors and responses related to exercise and body shape. Eating disorders have both physical and psychological consequences. 

Today, many children are struggling with eating disorders. It affects their quality of life, lifestyle, and physical & emotional needs. There are many types of eating disorders among children. Check out the most common ones below. 

5 Common Eating Disorders in Children

  • Anorexia Nervosa

Children with an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image may have anorexia nervosa. They may refuse to maintain a healthy weight even if they are underweight.  

If you observe that your child is restricting food intake and avoiding certain food items with a fear of getting fat, you must seek medical attention. 


  • Obsession with calorie counting
  • Denial of hunger
  • Excessive exercising
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Bulimia Nervosa

In this type of disorder, a child binge eats, followed by compensatory behaviors, such as exercise, vomiting, and using laxatives. If your kids suffer from this disorder, you may observe that they consume excessive food unnecessarily, often leading to a loss of control. Also, they may hide their unusual eating behavior from others. 

The common consequences of Bulimia Nervosa are weight fluctuations and tooth erosion. Children suffering from the disorder may have lower morale and self-esteem. 


  • Unnecessary fear of gaining weight 
  • Repeated behavior of abnormal eating 
  • Forced vomiting
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

A child suffering from this disorder is highly selective with food choices, leading to nutritional deficiencies. Children suffering from ARFID may avoid certain smells, colors, and textures of food items. Compared to other eating disorders, ARFID is not driven by body image concerns. 


  • Anxiety around mealtime
  • Complain of stomach discomfort and aches
  • Reluctance to try new foods
  • Less or no social interaction
  • Pica

In this type of disorder, a child may eat items that are not usually considered as food. These items include chalk, paper, dirt, soap, and hair. It may lead to severe health problems as non-food items are indigestible. These may cause blockages in the digestive tract, lead poisoning, nutritional deficiencies, and exposure to toxins. If you notice any unusual eating habits in your kids, it is advisable to visit the doctor immediately. 


  • Eat items that are not meant for consumption, such as clay and hair
  • Unusual food cravings
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Orthorexia Nervosa

It is a child’s obsession to eat healthy food only. Children may follow the strict diet rules, eliminate entire food groups, and plan meals all the time. The extreme obsession with ‘clean’ eating may result in malnutrition, anxiety, and social isolation. Unlike other disorders, orthorexia is centered around the quantity of food instead of quality.


  • Excessive fear of unhealthy food items
  • Anxiety even while thinking of having unhealthy food
  • Cutting out social circle because of their unhealthy food habits
  • Unnecessarily checking every food items’ ingredients to ensure its healthy

You must note that symptoms of a child’s disorder may overlap with others. It may make it difficult for you to identify a particular disorder. Thus, if you observe any unusual eating habits in your child, you must visit the best diagnostic center. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

Whether your child is overeating or not eating at all, you must seek instant medical care. At a reliable diagnostic center, healthcare specialists may conduct physical examinations and other medical tests, like blood tests, to check insulin levels, hormonal changes, etc.

Treatment of eating disorders usually involves a combination of tests to identify problems related to the physical and mental health of children. Since eating disorders result in both physical and psychological changes, the doctors address them with care. 

Today, many diagnostic centers are offering home collection services, wherein healthcare experts collect samples of patients from their homes to prioritize their comfort. While looking for the best diagno pathology lab, you may consider many factors, such as location, qualification of healthcare providers, and services. 

Bottom Line

Eating disorders are very common among children. Thus, parents should keenly observe their children’s eating habits. 

If you notice any unusual eating behavior in your kid, you can look for a nearby diagno pathology lab. Any delay in consultation may cause severe consequences, like blockage in food pipes or other health issues. While looking for a diagnostic center, you may look for seamless facilities and services, like home collection. At your convenience, the doctors may do pathology tests and provide a quick delivery of reports. The doctors may get updated on your child’s health status and proceed with the treatment. So, ensure your child’s safety and well-being. 

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