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Eating Disorders in Adolescents

  • By: Alison Darcy & James Lock
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that typically have their onset in late childhood or early adolescence. Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by low weight and dietary restraint. Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by dietary restraint and intermittent episodes of a sense of loss of control over eating and compensatory behaviors aimed at purging the food ingested. Milder cases of eating disorder than would be required for diagnosis in adults (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) are sufficient to warrant diagnosis in children and adolescents due to increased risk of medical complications. Early intervention is important especially in AN for best outcomes. Few treatments have been designed specifically for children and adolescents. A particular form of family treatment is currently the treatment of choice for both ...

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