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Eating disorder

Eating disorders

The eating behavior of children and adolescents changes constantly in the course of development and can go through different phases. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to assess eating behavior correctly and to distinguish an eating disorder from a "normal" phase. Eating disorders in children and adolescents can manifest themselves in various ways and are very diverse. Girls are generally affected more often than boys.


Anorexia Nervosa


This disorder is characterized by an unconditional desire to reduce body weight and to be "thin". Affected individuals avoid eating high-calorie foods, exercise excessively, and are usually underweight. Nevertheless, there is often a distorted body perception in which sufferers feel they are "too fat" despite their low weight. Anorexia can lead to various physical sequelae, such as the absence of menstruation, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disorders.


Bulimia Nervosa

(Binge eating disorder, bulimia)

Children and adolescents suffering from bulimia nervosa often suffer from ravenous hunger or eating attacks in which large quantities of mostly calorie-rich food are eaten in a short time. Since those affected are at the same time very afraid of a possible weight gain, they engage in counter-regulatory behavior to reduce their weight, e.g. self-induced vomiting, excessive sport or abuse of medication. Often this behavior is accompanied by strong feelings of shame and disgust and is concealed from others. Bulimia can also lead to long-term psychological and physical sequelae, e.g. dental, stomach or heart problems.


Binge-eating disorder

(Eating attacks with loss of control)

In binge-eating disorder, sufferers experience regular, uncontrolled binge eating, in which large amounts of calorie-rich food are consumed in a short period of time. However, this is not followed by compensatory behavior as in bulimia nervosa. However, there are often enormous feelings of shame or disgust, anger, and a sense of loss of control. Binge-eating disorders often lead to obesity and associated health problems as well as severe psychological distress.