Healthy eating could be the first sign of a teen eating disorder

– It’s estimated that more
than 30 million American’s suffer from some type of eating disorder. – But a parent might never
suspect that healthy eating can be one of the first
warning signs in their teen. – Healthy Living reporter
Cristen Manion has the details on what parents need to know. – [Cristen] Spotting the warning signs of an eating disorder. – A lot of times it’ll just start with, “I want to be a little bit healthier, “so I’m gonna cut out this food group.” – [Cristen] Can be
trickier than it may seem. – And all of a sudden we’ll
see that it’s really been restricted down to maybe
only three or four things that we see as safe, and then we’re not getting
in the nutrients we need. – [Cristen] The team at
Akron Children’s Hospital says parents should watch for an obsession with body image or food intake. – We’ll see patients maybe
start restricting down to a certain calorie limit
per day, counting labels, looking at labels, or
their counting calories, looking at fat grams, trying
to avoid sugar in some way. We start to see this
severe categorization. Maybe you had a kid who used
to love to have ice cream at night, and now all of
a sudden ice cream is seen as not happening, you can’t do it. – [Cristen] Dr. Jessica
Castonguay says to watch for signs in all teens, not
just those deemed skinny. – You don’t have to be skin and bones to have an eating disorder, and so a lot of times what we
see is a young man or woman who started out overweight coming to us at a normal weight, but very sick with all the symptoms of a restrictive eating disorder. – [Cristen] Part of the process
comes down to making sure parents are steering the
conversation about foods. – Instead of saying things for
a certain food groups like, “That’s healthy”, or
what you can say like, “This is gonna give you better energy “so you can do the activities
that you love to do.” Really focusing on food is fuel is one of our big
statements in our clinic. – Well, Derek and Leslie, one of the things that
these two ladies told me is that part of the problem
comes down to diet culture, and how we eliminate total
food groups out of that. She says any food can be unhealthy, just like if you eat a carrot,
and that’s all you eat, you’ll never get all the
nutrients you’d need. So I have all of the symptoms,
some of the warning signs, and how parents can
start that conversation. They’ll be up on the 21
News App in just a minute. – Gotta have something from
every food group, right? – Yeah. – Exactly. – Variety.
Well, I try. – Food is fuel, I like that.
That’s right. – Yeah, it’s a good one. – Thanks Cristen.