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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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June 05, 2023

     A meta-analysis published by medical journal JAMA Pediatrics found a staggering 22% of children and adolescents display signs of disordered eating.  The government should let parents direct their children.

     Disordered eating can take many forms including frequent dieting, weight fluctuation and feelings of guilt associated with eating. According to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the behaviors “may or may not warrant a diagnosis of a specific eating disorder.”  In order to gather the data for their meta-analysis, the authors analyzed 32 studies from 16 different countries, including the US, the UK, Spain, Germany, China, South Korea and Slovenia. The final result showed more than 1 in 5 children and adolescents displayed behaviors of disordered eating, with numbers being higher among girls, older children, and those with a higher body mass index (BMI).

     “From an epidemiological perspective, identifying the magnitude of disordered eating and its distribution in at-risk populations is crucial for planning and executing actions aimed at preventing, detecting, and dealing with them,” the study read.  The meta-analysis distinguished the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating, saying that not all of those who suffer from the latter would be diagnosed with the former.

     “Eating disorders are among the most life-threatening psychiatric problems, and people with these conditions die 10 to 20 years younger than the general population,” the meta-analysis’s authors declared. However, disordered eating can be quite dangerous, especially for young people, putting them at risk of ailments such as metabolic problems, osteoporosis and headaches, according to the National Eating Disorders Collaboration.  

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