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Teenagers in Park

Eating Disorder Treatment for Teens with a Medical Nutrition Therapist in the St. Louis Area, Missouri and Illinois

Achieve Recovery with the Guidance of Expert Eating Disorder Dietitian Nutritionists for Teens, Adolescents, and Young Adults - Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, Orthorexia, Binge Eating Disorder, ARFID, and Disordered Eating

What causes eating disorders in teens?

There may be a variety of factors that contribute to eating disorders in teens. Genetics, trauma, anxiety, depression, environmental struggles such as being raised in a very diet-focused home, or societal pressures that preach “thin = happier” (for girls) and "muscular + happier" (for boys).  

When a teen feels pressure from things that feel out of control in their life, such as friendships, school, etc., they often think, “well, I can’t control xyz, but I can control what I eat and how my body may look in return!”

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How are eating disorders in teens treated?

Eating disorders in teens are treated no different than any other person suffering from an eating disorder - treatment is individualized. Our dietitians provide online and in-person outpatient nutrition therapy.

 

We will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive nutritional assessment.

  • Collaborate with the treatment team to ensure comprehensive care.

  • Provide nutrition education and counseling to promote healthy eating habits.

  • Provide nutrition counseling to improve relationship with food and body.

  • Monitor and support weight restoration and maintenance.

  • Address nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.

  • Incorporate family-based treatment when appropriate.

  • Provide ongoing support and monitoring throughout the recovery process.

Family sessions might be recommended at times to give parents and caregivers tools and strategies to provide support to their teen, to emphasize treatment recommendations around food, and to hold boundaries with their teen and the eating disorder. Recovery is possible.

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How common are eating disorders in teens?

Eating disorder beliefs and behaviors typically begin during adolescence, and they are, unfortunately, very common. Research findings indicate that there has been a rise in teens suffering from mental health issues and disordered eating, especially post the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some statistics from ANAD and NIMH:

  • 35% - 57% of teenage girls say they use dieting and/or purging to manage their weight.

  • 50% of people with BED began their behaviors before the age of 19.

  • Between the ages of six and ten, girls start to worry about their weight, and by the age of 14, 60-70% are trying to lose weight.

  • Weight-related teasing is the number 1 way kids bully one another.

  • Approximately 12% of adolescent girls have some form of eating disorder or disordered eating, and only 20% of adolescents struggling with an ED reach out for help.

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Eating disorders in teen boys:

Eating disorders don't discriminate and teen boys are affected by them as well. Up to 1/3 of teens struggling with anorexia, bulimia, BED, ARFID, orthorexia, and restrictive eating are male.

 

Boys and adolescent males are often missed because eating disorders are mistakenly considered a "girl problem". Oftentimes boys can hide in plain sight because their bodies don't change as radically as girls'. Also, the signs and symptoms can manifest differently in boys (see below). 
 

It’s often more challenging for a teen male to open up about their struggles due to this idea that males have to be “tough and strong,” but they, just like their female counterparts, have societal pressures and struggles too.

What to look for with eating disorders in teens:

Red flags may include:
 

  • changes in eating frequency

  • a decreased intake during family meals OR eating large amounts of food

  • an increased preoccupation with body image

  • working out more than usual

  • rigidity around eating rituals

  • having unusual behaviors around food (cutting food into small pieces, pushing food around the plate)

  • refusing to eat certain food groups

  • constantly weighing themselves

  • running to the bathroom after meals/snacks

  • wearing baggy clothes

  • distancing themselves from friends and family (in particular when food is involved)

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders can lead to early detection and early help. If you believe you or someone you love is suffering, open up, have a candid conversation, and get help. Recovery is possible.

Our Team of Dietitian Nutritionists and  Eating Disorder Specialists in the Greater St. Louis Area

Branz Nutrition Counseling is a team of certified eating disorder dietitians who provide compassionate care to those struggling with their relationship to food. Our approach is weight-inclusive, LGBTQIA+, and social justice-oriented, which means that we believe that everyone deserves access to quality care. 

 

We can't wait to meet you!

With locations in Illinois and Missouri, we offer both virtual and in-person counseling sessions. And, we are licensed to provide Telehealth nutrition therapy to  patients around the country.

Alaska | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Missouri | New York | New Hampshire | Massachusetts  | Oklahoma | Oregon  Pennsylvania | Texas  |  Utah | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia |Wisconsin | Wyoming

 

We see clients in person in the St. Louis area, Missouri, Illinois, and from around the country via Telehealth. Learn more here.

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How It Works - An Easy Three-Step Process to Get You on the Road to Recovery

Make An Appointment

What service do you need? Schedule a 15-minute discovery call, free of charge. It is a great way for a dietitian on our team to get to know you and your unique needs.

Meet with your Personal Dietitian

Be paired with the dietitian nutritionist on our team and get continued support with one of our online groups. One-on-one counseling, in-person, or virtual. WE TAKE INSURANCE!

Take Control of Your Life

Heal your relationship with food and your body. Choose the best foods for your unique needs. Get the tools you need to live a healthy life. Receive continued support.

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We Accept Insurance

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