• Consumer Health: Teens and eating disorders

A young white teenage boy resting his head on his hands, looking out a window and seeming sad, thoughtful, depressed, serious

Eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent eating behaviors that negatively affect health, emotions and the ability to function in important areas of life. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

Although eating disorders can occur at any age, they often develop in the teens and early 20s. Teenage girls and young women are more likely than teenage boys and young men to have anorexia or bulimia, but males can have eating disorders, too. 

Eating disorders can harm the heart, digestive system, bones and teeth. Eating disorders can lead to depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts or behavior, substance abuse disorders, and death.

If you're concerned about your son or daughter, here's what you need to know about what contributes to teen eating disorders, the consequences of eating disorders and the best strategies for prevention.

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