Eating Disorders in Children

By on July 25, 2014

When it comes to children most at risk for an eating disorder, focus is rarely placed on boys or on those from minority and low-income backgrounds. But in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health a team of experts stress that anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating actually affect a broad range of kids from many walks of life.

This disconnect between stereotype and reality contributes to the fact that only 3 to 28% of teens with eating disorders actually get diagnosed and treated. One possible solution: a simple and fast school-based screening program designed to uncover hidden cases. To evaluate the idea’s cost and potential the investigators conducted a computer simulation that examined the feasibility of screening students between the ages of 10 and 17.

It turned out, the hypothetical 5-question survey was both easy and inexpensive taking just minutes to complete and costing just $0.35 per child.

And more importantly in-school screening did, in fact, increase detection and treatment rates pointing the way towards a practical response to a serious public health problem.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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