Dr. Julie T. Anne Clinical Psychologist and Eating Disorder Specialist
Dr. Julie T. Anne is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Founder and Clinical Director of A New Beginning, LLC, an outpatient treatment center dedicated to comprehensive care of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma and relationship issues. more about this expert »
The trend for eating disorders is frightening. We are seeing that kids at younger and younger ages are falling
victim to these very deadly disorders.
The age of onset used to be between 13 and 17 years of age. The age of onset now is between 9 and 12
years of age. In my personal practice, I see children as young as six years of age that are displaying eating
disorder symptoms. That is frightening.
I think the primary reason why we are seeing kids dieting at younger and younger ages is because our
culture as a whole, our families, and our parents are focused on food and weight and body image.
The more we diet and teach our kids to be aware of calories and fat grams, believe it or not, the more it is
going to backfire.
So we need to teach our children to have a non-dieting approach to food. There cannot be a good food, bad
food category. We need to teach them all foods are okay, in moderation. And we want to eat when our
bodies are telling us we’re hungry, we want to be able to give ourselves permission to eat.
If you see your child change their behavior relative to food, if you see them not partaking in certain activities
that are focused on food, and not allowing themselves to eat in a normal way, you need to pay attention to
If you are seeing signs of an eating disorder, please do get your child evaluated sooner than later. We know
that the earlier someone gets treated, the better the chance of complete recovery.