We mostly associate the word “BED” with a place to rest, or a kid’s happy place, but when referred to a more alarming meaning for say, a disorder, it’s not at all fascinating. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a disorder that many kids are facing worldwide due to excessive eating. It is not just while binge-watching their favorite shows and movies without moving a leg but also while coping with mental breakdowns.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss what binge eating disorder is, how kids are one of the most affected age groups along with some remedies parents can use to cope with it. So, let’s get started!
What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
Who doesn’t want to have a tasty midnight snack? Well, BED is a serious mental health condition that affects many people around the world. It’s characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food in a short period, often followed by guilt(1). People with BED may also feel out of control while they are binging and experience physical discomfort due to overconsumption.
BED’s Signs & Symptoms?
BED can cause severe physical, mental, and emotional distress for those who suffer from it. Fortunately, recognizing the signs and symptoms of BED early on can help individuals seek treatment before their condition worsens. The primary symptom of BED in kids is recurrent binge eating episodes. These occur at least once per week over three months or more (2). Here are a few signs one should watch out for to check if a kid is experiencing BED or not:
- Consuming large amounts of food in a short amount of time without feeling full or satisfied afterward.
- Eating rapidly during episodes.
- Feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their eating habits after an episode has occurred.
- Hiding food to eat later in secret when no one else is around.
- Avoiding social situations where meals are served.
- Frequently dieting with little or no success.
- Using laxatives to reduce weight gain after binge episodes have occurred.
- Experiencing depression or anxiety due to feelings surrounding your body image/weight gain caused by binging episodes.
What Are Its Causes?
Binge eating is a serious disorder that can have long-term consequences. It’s important to understand what causes it so that teens who may be struggling with this issue can get the help they need. While there isn’t one single cause of binge eating, research suggests several factors could play a role in its development (3).
Genetics and family dynamics are two potential influences on binge eating behavior. People who come from families where overeating or emotional problems are common may be more likely to develop the disorder than those from wealthier backgrounds. Additionally, emotions such as stress and anxiety can lead people to use food as an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with difficult feelings or situations in life.
Also certain patterns of behavior like skipping meals or having disordered thoughts about food also contribute significantly to developing binge eating habits over time if left unchecked by proper medical care and support systems in place for those suffering from mental health issues related to their dieting behaviors.
How To Treat Binge Eating Disorder In Kids?
Although BED may seem like an adult problem, binge eating disorder in kids is becoming increasingly common and should be taken seriously (4).
- When treating this condition in young children, the most important thing to focus on first is helping them develop healthy coping mechanisms for their emotions before trying to address food-related issues directly.
- Seeking professional help from a therapist who specializes in child psychology can be extremely beneficial for both the child and their family as they work through this difficult time together.
- Parents play an important role in helping their children manage and overcome binge eating. They can help their children practice mindful eating by encouraging them to pay attention while they eat and recognize when they feel full.
- Triggers of binging should also be identified so that alternate methods of stress relief such as music, art, dance, or writing.
- Most importantly, yoga meditation or deep breathing exercises are great ways for kids, so they can introduce it into their daily life for healthy results.
Binge Eating Disorder is a pretty serious issue that can affect both adults and kids alike. But with the right support, treatment, and a healthy dose of love, your kids can overcome this pesky problem effortlessly. So, don’t let BED get your little ones down. Do let us in the comment section how’d you find about this disorder and some unique ways you used to help your kids come out of it. Happy parenting!
Was this article helpful?The following two tabs change content below.Dushyant has a keen interest in writing about parenting and women’s healthcare. He believes that knowledge about childcare and children’s health should be available to every parent to enhance their overall quality of life. When he is not writing for MomJunction, you can spot him playing the ukulele, singing, and doodling.more