Article Contributed by A. David Wall, Ph. Walking into the center, she is easy to spot — she is 8 years old and she has anorexia nervosa. In my 17 years of working with eating disordered patients, I have seen many children ages 11 and under, and the emotional impact is always the same— she is so young.
Anorexia Can Strike and Kill as Early as Kindergarten
Anorexia Nervosa in Children
She exercised compulsively on the monkey bars. But her parents had no idea she was developing anorexia nervosa because the active girl's height and weight looked normal on the pediatrician's growth chart. Sophie complained of being dizzy, having "itchy skin" and constipation, all symptoms of malnutrition. She later confessed that she had been throwing out her school snacks and lunches. And one night when her mother was tucking her into bed, she blurted out, "Mommy, I have a problem … I am hungry all the time and I can't eat," remembers Anne. When Sophie was finally diagnosed in first grade, she hadn't gained a pound for 10 months and had dropped from the 60th to the 19th percentile on the weight charts.
Children aged FIVE being treated for anorexia: Doctors blame ultra-slim celebrities
Of the new cases of anorexia nervosa diagnosed, most were in young women 91 per cent. Photograph: iStock. Eleven Irish pre-teens are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa each year, according to the authors of a new study.
Miranda turned eight years old last week. For her birthday, her parents took her to a pizza parlour, where she ate pasta and ice-cream. For any other child, it would have been a common enough treat. But for Miranda, the trip was nothing short of momentous.