Eating disorders are very common in adolescence and it often develops at a young age and then progresses as the teenager moves throughout their school years. Eating disorders can come in many different forms and there are also many different reasons for the a teenager might choose to replicate some of the behaviors that follow along with an eating disorder. There are some eating disorders that involved the binging and vomiting of food - such as bulimia and others that tend to follow a path of extreme starvation and deprivation of food which is called anorexia and there are still others that involve emotional eating and the constant binging of food which often comes with a great deal of weight gain.
Eating disorders span across all types of people, religions, and ages but they are extremely common in teenagers because not only is this the time that most teenagers are going through puberty and struggling with their bodies but also because this is the time where they struggle the most with peer pressure and influence from the media. Because of other kids at school and the influences they see in magazines and on television teenagers are often confused about how they’re supposed to look and what they’re supposed to think about their bodies. Eating disorders are also far more common among girls because of the pressure to look “model-thin” and be as appealing a the girls on the covers of their favorite magazines.
From this comes the idea that teenagers are supposed to warp and change their bodies to suit unrealistic models. Many teens will begin dieting and working out at a very young age in order to try and look like the people that they admire but sometimes these habits can go far past being healthy and turn in to a real problem with confidence, self-esteem, and body image. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to eat well and exercise to stay strong but many teens also feel pressure in sports and other athletic endeavors (such as cheerleading or dance) to look and feel a certain way. If they find it impossible to accomplish this they might resort to extreme methods such as starving themselves of food to be able to look they way they want. Other teens that feel pressured to look a certain way may also struggle with not being able to change their bodies to suit the images they find ideal and as a result may begin to head violently in the other direction by eating constantly and putting on a lot of weight as a way of keeping people distant and estranged from them.
The most important thing to remember here is that reprimanding a teen for their eating habits will do no good at all because they’ll simply think the situation they're in is different and may even be in complete denial that they even have an eating disorder. So provide all the support you can and it may even be necessary to put your teen into a type of rehab or treatment center for eating disorders.