Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Know if Your Teen Is Hiding an Eating Disorder

One of the hallmarks of eating disorders—an extreme, unhealthy obsession with food or weight—is secrecy. If your teen is suffering from an eating disorder, they are likely experiencing a great deal of shame and guilt around their actions, which causes them to hide their issue.

The three most common eating disorders—bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder—have a variety of symptoms that may overlap each other. Also, it is possible your teen may be suffering from more than just one eating disorder—bulimia and binge-eating disorder often go hand-in-hand, for instance.

In order to make sure your teen is healthy, it is important to monitor specific actions and habits they have—some of which are more obvious than others. Read on to learn 4 key tips to recognizing a potential eating disorder in your teen.

1. Visiting the Restroom Soon After Eating

If your teen is sneaking off to the bathroom soon after snacks or meals or on a frequent basis, it is a possible red flag of bulimia—an eating disorder where the sufferer purges their food through forced vomiting or use of laxatives. Watch closely for evidence of diuretics, diet pills, or laxatives, even if it means sorting through the trash for wrappers.

2. Odd Food Habits

If your teen insists on chewing food a certain number of times, pushes their food back and forth across their plate rather than eating it, or adopts any other odd habits surrounding food, it may be indicative of a greater problem such as anorexia—an eating disorder where the sufferer’s obsession with being thin leads to a restriction of calories.

3. Hidden Food

If you find hidden food stashes, this may be cause for alarm. Keeping food secret may signal a potential eating disorder such as bulimia or binge eating—a disorder where the sufferer consumes large quantities of food in one sitting on a frequent basis.

4. Alarming Weight Loss

Weight loss that occurs rapidly or causes your teen to dip below a healthy weight is a warning sign to take seriously. Rapid, unhealthy weight loss can indicate a number of eating disorders.

All in all, being knowledgeable about the warnings signs of an eating disorder in your teen is crucial in helping to ensure their health. If you notice one or more of these signs, consider talking with your teen or a professional at a place like Center for Change in order to receive prompt help. These disorders are real mental issues that need addressed.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

Find Us on Social Media

We're here at the Mile High Hook & Ladder Club Muster spreading the word and raffling off tickets to our Boo-athon Bowling Event! Come see us! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We are grateful for the privilege to provide families with a true shopping experience at our Market. We thank our community supporters, churches, civic groups and The Emergency Food Assistance Program for helping us make this a reality. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

A BIG thank you to long time supporters - Columbine United Church for collecting food from FIVE King Soopers locations to stock our dwindling food market inventory! Your support will truly make a difference this summer, as our shelves become bare compensating for kids being off subsidized school meal programs. You have really helped provide for this need, gave hope and restored dignity to those in need.@kingsoopers ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

IFCS On Twitter

Thank you Columbine United Church for collecting food from FIVE @KingSoopersNews locations! Our families in need really appreciate your support! #dogood #charity #colorado #littleton

Thank you Dry Creek Sertoma for donating children and adult clothing! These donations are essential to filling our clothing bank to help those in need. #dogood #charity #clothing #colorado

A BIG thank you to Cub Scouts #0004 from the Trail Mark area. They conducted their first food drive in the neighborhood and made us the recipient. Wag a great first community service for the #cubscouts. #dogood #charity #colorado

Load More...

Key Sponsors

Our Affliations




Sign Up for our eNewsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

IFCS follows the USDA non-discrimination policy. Learn more by clicking here to read the statement. (PDF)