Teenage girls are most at risk for developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Both boys and girls can be at risk for compulsive overeating and obesity. Being even more specific, who are the teenagers most at risk for eating disorders?
• First, perfectionistic teens are at high risk for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. These girls are usually excellent students, well behaved, and intent on doing everything just right (even when it comes to the elusive idea of self perfection).
• Second, girls raised by authoritarian parents or who feel compelled to please their parents are at risk. They may unconsciously seek control of their weight and body shape as their only means of independent choice.
• Third, teens under stress with an alcohol or drug abusing parent are at risk.
• Finally, teens who have low self-esteem and who are depressed may develop eating disorders. They may be especially sensitive to criticism or suggestions that they might be overweight whether or not these perceptions are accurate.
An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.