A person's teen years are considered to be the period when they are most vulnerable to pressure. This is a time of change and uncertainty as the teenager attempts to find his/her niche. Along with the changes in appearance that adolescence brings, a teenager feels the need to be "perfect" in appearance. Most teenagers also depend on the approval of their peers and so they often go to extreme lengths to secure it. In addition to all of this, the media plays a very large role in determining what a person's ideal weight should be. Unfortunately, in some cases, this problem can also be traced further back to childhood, when little girls are given dolls that have tiny waists, long legs, and unrealistic body proportions. Eating problems in teenagers is a serious problem and if it is ignored, it can have immense and even fatal results on the individual's health.
Anorexia and bulimia are two of the most common eating disorders in teenagers. While anorexia and bulimia in teenagers can affect both boys and girls, it has been seen to be more common in girls. A person suffering from anorexia has a distorted body image and so they do not realize just how much weight they have lost. An anorexic person may be extremely skinny but will not realize it no matter how much it is explained to them. Teenagers with anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight and so they may refuse to eat even the smallest of meals. This is a very serious condition as many people have actually starved themselves to death, all the time refusing to believe that they are indeed thin as they can only see themselves as being fat and unattractive. On the other hand a teenager with bulimia will have recurrent bingeing episodes which are quickly followed by the need to purge themselves of the food they have ingested. This is why diuretics and laxatives are often used by teenagers with bulimia. Bulimia in teenagers is also a serious condition as it can cause severe health conditions such as the rupture of the esophagus and can increase the teenager's risk of esophageal cancer. Binge eating in teenagers is a nasty vicious cycle in which a teenager is depressed with their weight and to cope with their depression they eat. This in turn causes them to put on more eight and so the cycle continues. Binge-eating in teenagers often leads to obesity which in turn brings on a host of related medical conditions.
People with eating disorders require therapy and counseling to help them deal with the insecurities they may have and to help them make healthy eating choice.