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Can 9-year old child have a binge eating disorder?

answered 09:46 AM EST, Mon March 18, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Can a small child have a binge eating disorder? What is the youngest age a person can be and have an eating disorder. My nephew is 9 and he doesn’t seem to be able to control his eating at all. When I watch him eat it doesn’t seem right. It is like he is trying to get in as many calories as he can in every meal..far more than he could ever need. His parents are both very obese and so is he but they don’t shovel it in like he does at meal times. It is disturbing to watch. They are worried about him but they do not know what to do and they do not have much money.

William Anderson Says...

There are a number of disorders that can result in strange behavior in children, and it is always a mistake when parents neglect to take their children to the doctor when something is not right, either physically, emotionally, mentally or behaviorally. 

While I am not suggesting the child has Prader-Willi Syndrome, it is one example of a disorder (in this case genetic) that results in a ravenous appetite and voracious overeating. There are all sorts of treatable disorders like ADHD and kinds of autism that will result in behavioral problems that will get worse if the parents do not have the child properly diagnosed and treated. 

These parents need to admit they do not yet know enough to know what to do. They need to take the child to a pediatrician and work with the doctor until they are sure what the problem is. Doing nothing is not OK and doing the wrong thing is worse.

You are family and have a place in this. If they are worried and don't know what to do, show them this Q&A and tell them they need to make the appointment. Being short of money is not an excuse for withholding necessary medical care for a child and there are serious consequences when caregivers do this. 

Best wishes that it all goes smoothly once the right course is set and that everyone in the family is feeling and getting better once you are on it. 

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Page last updated Mar 18, 2013

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