Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders


Adolescence is the most common time that an eating disorder can begin to take hold. Regardless of the age of a person at the time their eating disorder begins, there can often be a considerable period of time between onset and the time of first treatment. Furthermore, the person may see a number of health professionals before receiving a correct diagnosis. This delay is likely to negatively influence the duration of the eating disorder and the outcomes of treatment.

“Evidence shows that early diagnosis and intervention can greatly reduce the duration and severity of an eating disorder. It is therefore vital to seek professional help at the earliest possible time.”

Due to the nature of an eating disorder many of the characteristic behaviours may be concealed. A person with an eating disorder may go to great lengths to hide, disguise or deny their behaviour, or do not recognise that there is anything wrong. A person with an eating disorder may have disturbed eating behaviours coupled with extreme concerns about weight, shape, eating and body image.

If you have any concern that your child or teenager has an eating disorder it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

My approach to treating Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa in children and adolescents is known as the ‘Maudsley Approach or Maudsley Method’. You can read more detailed information about this treatment here –

This treatment is currently the most effective treatment available for people aged 18 years and under who live at home with their parents.

“The Maudsley approach can mostly be construed as an intensive outpatient treatment where parents play an active and positive role in order to: Help restore their child’s weight to normal levels expected given their adolescent’s age and height; hand the control over eating back to the adolescent, and; encourage normal adolescent development through an in-depth discussion of these crucial developmental issues as they pertain to their child. The Maudsley Approach opposes the notion that families are pathological or should be blamed for the development of AN. On the contrary, the Maudsley Approach considers the parents as a resource and essential in successful treatment for AN.” (