Life in Balance

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Children As Young As Ten Battling Eating Disorders

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Magaly Olivero from The Courant wrote an article shedding light on new statistics coming in that are showing younger and younger children battling eating disorders. To read the full story visit http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-connecticut-teens-eating-disorders-20140811,0,5306023.story

Thousands of Connecticut adults and children – some as young as 10 – struggle with eating disorders with many suffering secretly because the life-threatening psychiatric condition has gone undiagnosed and untreated, experts in the field report.

“We used to see eating disorders start at 13 or 14. Now we frequently see 10- and 11-year olds,” said Dr. Diane Mickley, founder and director of the Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders in Greenwich, which has treated females and males for three decades. Mickley is a founder and past president of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

 

“It’s tougher to be a kid these days. It’s really stressful,” said Jennifer Henretty, director of outcomes and research for Center for Discovery. “But it’s not easy being a parent, either. Society gives us messages that we should push our children to be well-rounded and top achievers. But many of these factors may be setting up children to be at an increased risk for eating disorders.”

The focus on body mass index (BMI) – an indicator of fat based on height and weight – doesn’t help matters. “Medical providers focus on keeping people’s weight under control without thinking about quality of life issues and someone’s natural body type,” said Margo Maine, of West Hartford‘s Maine & Weinstein Specialty Group and a founder and past-president of NEDA.

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