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    Eating Disorders in Teens during Covid 19

    Eating is a healthy habit but we should eat to our capacity only. Unless, it becomes a disease. Eating disorders in teens during covid 19 are not as common as the other mental disorders, but it can be as serious as the other ones.

    It is nowadays seen that teens are developing more eating disorders than in the past. There can be many reasons why it is happening.

    Besides, We should definitely talk about this topic more often. Which is why this article can be really helpful if your child or you are having this disorder.

    And Covid 19 means lockdown, anxiety, pressure, career stress and what not. Yes, it is true that covid 19 anxiety is one of the causes of eating disorders among teens.

    What are Eating Disorders

    Eating Disorders are a type of Mental disorders, which are behavioral states, it disturbs our eating habits and is connected to distressing thoughts and emotions. It can be a very serious situation, which affects a person physically or psychologically.

    The eating disorders are also classified as, Feeding and Eating Disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM -5). Thus, It causes both emotional distress and many medical complications.

    According to some research, this type of disorder affects only 5% of the population.Mostly it is developed in young adulthood. Plus, eating disorders are linked with food, shape or weight or with any anxiety about eating food.

    Eating Disorders during covid 19 include behaviours like, prohibitive eating or avoiding specific food varieties, eating while watching TV, vomiting after eating, etc.

    Types of Eating Disorders

    There are seven types of Eating Disorders, which can affect teens and tweens especially:
    • Anorexia Nervosa: In this type of disorder, a person eats less, which leads to lower expected body weight, fear of weight gain in the manner of self consciousness. While it receives the most attention, it is the least common type of Eating disorder.

    There are two subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa;

    Restricting Type

    Binge Eating Type
    • Bulimia Nervosa: People who are affected with this type of disorder are on a diet or eat only low calorie food. People with Bulimia Nervosa are underweight, normal weight or also over weight. In the situation of normal weight, no one can know that a person has Bulimia Nervosa because the person isn’t underweight. Lastly, it may also includes some behavioral changes such as, vomiting, fasting, etc
    • Binge Eating Disorder: It is the mostly recognized type of Eating disorder, also it is the most common type. It is also defined as eating food in large amounts or loose control in eating. Mostly it is found in people of larger body size. Hence, people who have this type of disorder, sometimes feel guilty or ashamed with their behaviour.
    • Other Specified Feeding and eating Disorders: It contains a wide range of eating problems which can cause major distress and damage. It can be as serious as the other eating disorders. Besides, people who have it sometimes feel discredited and undeserving of help which is so not true.
    • Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: It is a recently explained eating disorder, that includes disturbance in eating. However, food avoidance starts at any age but it is commonly developed in early childhood and also may continue in adulthood. In the past, it was known as Selective Eating Disorder.
    • Pica: People who have Pica type of eating disorder, repeatedly consume non edible things like, chalk, paper or many non nutrition things like ice. Besides, person who is diagnosed with this type of eating disorder is at risk for blockages of potential intestines.
    • Rumination Disorder: It develops a habit of chewing and vomiting repeatedly. It is more common in children.


    Teens who have Eating disorders never accept their condition. They may have mood swings and be depressed many times. Symptoms of Eating disorders are includes;
    • Skipping meals
    • Weight change in extreme manner
    • Rashes in skin
    • Dental problem
    • Hair loss
    • Abnormal eating habits
    • Limitation of nutrition diet

    Effects of Eating Disorders

    There are two effects of Eating disorders:
    • Mental Effects: Dietary problems frequently happen with mental issues or any anxiety / nervousness issues. People with eating disorders also face depression. Anxiety issue includes;

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    Social Anxiety Disorder
    • Physical Effects: Because of the lack of nutrition in eating food, there are many physical effects faced by people who have Eating disorders. Eating disorders also affects every part of body which may lead many physical effects, includes;

    Brain Mass Loss

    Dental problems


    Disturbance in sleep

    Loss of Hair

    Loss of Menstrual period

    Weakness in bones

    Eating Disorders in Covid-19 Pandemic

    According to the psychologist Erin Accurso, the clinical director of the eating disorders program at the University of California, San Francisco, states that, in today’s pandemic situation, Eating disorders are becoming worse than before in teens.

    There can be many different reasons for which it is increasing in the pandemic.

    According to Dr. Walter Kaye, “People who end up with eating disorders tend to be anxious and stress sensitive — they don’t do well with uncertainty.”

    As the result of uncertain activities of the pandemic, it is possible that this must have been the reason behind all the high prevalence that eating disorders got.

    Thus, having online classes at home with food available near them had led the teenagers to eat more than usual to get over the boredom of the pandemic or stress about it.


    Eating disorders can be a major issue of a teen’s mental health that should be treated very carefully.

    Eating Disorders among teens are a type of Mental disorders, which are behavioral states, it disturbs our eating habits and is connected to distressing thoughts and emotions.

    It can be a very serious situation like covid 19, which affects a person physically or psychologically.

    And the pandemic, above all, increased it more than usual. There can be different reasons why it is increasing specifically in the pandemic such as the online classes and having food constantly available nearby.

    Thus, it can be a major disease if not treated on time. If your child is having this disorder, comfort them and be there for them.