Anorexia & Bulimia: 5 Signs Your Teen May Be Struggling With an Eating Disorder by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP

Anorexia & Bulimia: 5 Signs Your Teen May Be Struggling With an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders affect 30 million people – more than Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and autism combined. Roughly 95 percent are between the ages of 12 and 25, and only 30 percent will seek treatment, in part because their parents have no idea they’re suffering.

February 25, 2019, marks the beginning of Eating Disorder Awareness Week – the perfect excuse to talk about an issue not talked about nearly enough. If you’re worried, here are five signs your teen may need help:

  1. They’re not gaining weight. Kids should add pounds as they grow.
  2. They’re skipping family meals. Hiding eating habits is a red flag.
  3. They have peculiar habits. They cut their food into tiny pieces or overuse condiments.
  4. They obsess over exercise. Their whole day revolves around burning calories.
  5. They fixate on food, but don’t eat it. They love to grocery shop and cook, but don’t enjoy the fruits of their labor.

If you think your teen is developing an eating disorder, call your provider. They can help you find the right help, which may include a psychologist, dietitian and possibly a physical therapist. Eating disorders can lead to serious health complications, so don’t hesitate to seek treatment!

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links. The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get inspiration in your newsfeed daily. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

"Sharing the Secret"
"Sharing the Secret" $20 & Up
"Sharing the Secret" is a 2000 American television drama film about a teenage girl's struggle with bulimia and its effect on her parents and friends.
"For the Love of Nancy" DVD
"For the Love of Nancy" DVD $30
"For the Love of Nancy" is a 1994 television film directed by Paul Schneider. The film, based on a true story, deals with anorexia nervosa. Lead actress Tracey Gold was actually recovering from the disease while making the movie and used her own life experience for the portrayal of Nancy.
"Perfect Body"
"Perfect Body" $70
"Perfect Body" is a 1997 American drama film about a young gymnast who develops an eating disorder.
The 2006 documentary film, "Thin," directed by Lauren Greenfield and distributed by HBO, is an exploration of The Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Florida; a 40-bed residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders. The film mostly revolves around four women with anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia and their struggles for recovery.

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Drunkorexia: Parents, Knowing What It Is Could Save Your Child’s Life

Pregorexia: When You're Pregnant But Don't Want to "Get Fat"

Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
This is so scary. Many thanks for the insights, Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP . So important to keep aware!
Donna John
I had a friend whose daughter had bulimia. It's a scary disorder. So important to know the signs to look for. Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
Dawn Taylor
As a two time survivor, it’s important to note it’s not just adolescents. I think the number for women past the “typical age’ is about 15% and that’s estimated to be higher because a lot don’t seek treatment. Also, anorexia has the highest mortality rate for mental illness.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Bye, Felicia: 4 Things You Need to Give Up This New Year to Live a Better Life

How to Grow a Celery Plant From a Stalk in 10 Easy Steps (Plus Growing Tips for How to Make It Thrive)

Long Day? To Love Your Life, You Need to Appreciate Every Day & the Little Things!

Spring Clean Emotional Clutter: 5 Easy Steps to Help Rejuvenate Your Life