- Erratic food habits: Eating large amounts of food and then disappearing from the table.
- Playing with food.
- Restricting food intake.
- Major changes in weight in a short amount of time: Considering teen bodies are changing and getting heavier, dramatic weight loss for age and height can be a warning sign.
- Hiding her body even after weight loss: May be an indication that your daughter believes her body is very large even when it is not.
- Hiding food: Finding large amounts of food stashed in her bedroom, hidden under her bed or in closet, disappearance of food from the refrigerator or pantry.
- Refusal to eat when others are present: You’ll hear things like “I’ve already eaten” or “I have a stomachache” simply to avoid eating.
- Compulsive exercising: Exercising to take off as many calories that were consumed. Exercising several times daily or exercising until she can’t exercise anymore. Hyper-focus on how many calories burned, weight, inches, etc.
- Skipping meals consistently.
- Measuring self-worth based on weight: Calling oneself “good” for not eating and “bad” for giving in to eating. Bashing self for eating more than the allotted calories.
- Complaining about being overweight and fat when they are clearly underweight.
- Missing several periods in a row. Periods can stop when girls lose too much weight.
- Overall poor body image: Poor attitude when it comes to weight and appearance.
- Spending a lot of time in the bathroom: Could be sign of purging or laxative use.
*If you feel that your child may have an eating disorder, contact your child’s doctor to discuss your concerns and a possible plan of action.