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How to recognize the signs of an eating disorder in my daughter?

Grecia De Flores
4 min read

Eating disorders are more common in teens or young adults; specifically women and girls are more likely to suffer from them, so we show you those signs to which you should be alert.

If you suspect an eating disorder in your child, do not hesitate to ask a mental health professional for help, this type of disorder is very delicate, as it can even lead to serious illnesses and even death.

How to recognize the signs of an eating disorder in my daughter?
Eating disorders

What are eating disorders?

They are conditions that revolve around eating habits and have serious repercussions on health. The symptoms are varied depending on the specific type of disorders that are present.

Generally its appearance is associated with genetic factors that predispose it or psychological and social factors.

The factors that have the highest incidence when presenting an eating disorder are psychologists, in many cases these are accompanied by low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.

Some of the risk factors that can promote the appearance of eating disorders are psychological in nature such as stress or other mental disorders.

How to identify them?

As we mentioned before, the symptoms derive from the specific type of eating disorder that presents, however here we present a list of the signs to which you should be alert.

  • Skipping meals

  • Perform extreme diets

  • Show constant concern about weight

  • Prepare your own food

  • Eat secretly

  • Isolate

  • Taking laxative pills or dietary supplements

  • Looking in the mirror frequently to monitor weight and being unhappy about it

  • Performing excessive exercise

  • Present loss of enamel on the teeth

  • Stopping to the bathroom during or after mealtime

  • Express shame or guilt about their own eating habits

Types of eating disorders

Since we have an overview of the possible symptoms we will know the types of eating disorders.


This is characterized by a constant preoccupation with gaining weight and an exaggerated control over the food consumed, weighing 15% less than the normal body mass index.

People with anorexia tend to have their own distorted body shape, which is why they look fat when they are actually very thin.

They may not consume any food during the day due to the concern that gaining weight generates them.


Bulimia also presents a concern for weight gain, however the most outstanding characteristic in this case is that uncontrolled bingeing on food is combined that later generates guilt that leads to the practice of vomiting or purging.

In general, binge-eating causes a lot of shame in teenagers who suffer from it because of what they hide.

People with bulimia can be of normal weight or even slightly overweight due to these behaviors.

Binge-eating disorder

It is in part similar to bulimia, but it does not attempt to lessen guilt by inducing vomiting or purging. Frenzied binges on food are in contrast to long fasts or periods of no food.

Generally, people who suffer from this type of eating disorder have a weight above adequate and great dissatisfaction with their physical appearance.

Rumination disorder

This is less common than the previous three and consists of a repeated regurgitation of the food consumed.

This can lead to malnutrition when regurgitated food is spit out and is more common in young children.

Avoidant Eating Disorder

In this case, people avoid eating some type of food for concerns other than weight gain, they avoid some textures, colors or flavors.

How should family support be?

It is vitally important that if there are suspicions that your daughter has eating disorders, you insist on consulting a specialist.

Be willing to listen to her and validate her experience, she may not realize that she needs help, but don't give up and let her know your concern.

It reinforces his self-esteem and tries to explain to him that the media misrepresents information and that bodies without defects do not exist. Support her and accompany her in this difficult process, always emphasizing what is possible to improve and continue ahead in a healthy way.

Congratulate her on the progress I have made and provide support in the most difficult moments or relapses.