Eating Disorders Are Affecting Adolescents With Increasing Frequency

Decent Essays
Eating disorders are complex illnesses that are affecting adolescents with increasing frequency [1]. They rank as the third most common chronic illness in adolescent females, with an incidence of up to 5% 1, 2 and 3. Three major subgroups are recognized: a restrictive form in which food intake is severely limited (anorexia nervosa); a bulimic form in which binge-eating episodes are followed by attempts to minimize the effects of overeating via vomiting, catharsis, exercise, or fasting (bulimia nervosa); and a third group in which all the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are not met. The latter group, often called “eating disorder not otherwise specified” or EDNOS, constitutes the majority of patients seen in referral centers treating adolescents [4]. Eating disorders are associated with serious biological, psychological, and sociological morbidity and significant mortality. Unique features of adolescents and the developmental process of adolescence are critical considerations in determining the diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of eating disorders in this age group. This position statement represents a consensus from Adolescent Medicine specialists from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia regarding the diagnosis and management of eating disorders in adolescents. In keeping with the practice guidelines of the American Psychiatric Association [5] and the American Academy of Pediatrics [6], this statement integrates evidence-based medicine,
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