does my child have an eating disorder quiz

Does my child have an eating disorder quiz

Are you wondering “Does my child have an eating disorder?” Maybe you have noticed that your child has been behaving differently around food lately. Maybe you’ve noticed changes in how your child eats. Or maybe you just have a sneaking suspicion that your child is keeping something secret from you.

Take the quiz: Does my child have an eating disorder quiz

The bottom line is that if you have landed on this page, then you have some concerns about your child’s eating patterns. That’s a significant reason to be concerned and take some action.

Parenting for positive food and body

Common signs of an eating disorder

You are probably familiar with some of the common criteria used to diagnose an eating disorder. They include:

  • Restricting food
  • Binge-eating food
  • Purging food using vomiting, laxatives or exercise
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Inaccurate self-image in terms of body weight and shape

Sometimes a parent can recognize these obvious signs in a child. However, more often, the obvious signs are hard to spot for three main reasons:

  1. Secrecy: It is common for a child who has an eating disorder to hide their major symptoms. Parents are often not aware they exist.
  2. Diet Culture: Our society applauds weight loss and efforts to control the body through food restriction. Parents can miss critical eating disorder symptoms because they fall under socially-acceptable dieting behavior.
  3. “Terrible Teen” Myths: Our culture believes that adolescents are “difficult” and obsessed with their bodies. As a result, eating disorder behaviors can remain hidden in plain sight.

Does my child have an eating disorder quiz

This quiz will help you hone in on your concerns about whether your child has an eating disorder. This quiz cannot take the place of a medical and psychological evaluation. It’s only designed to help a parent whose “spidey senses” are tingling to determine the next course of action.

No online quiz can take the place of a parent’s intuition that something is wrong. So even if you don’t get a clear result, an evaluation could be helpful. It may not be an eating disorder. It may be something entirely different. But you should listen closely to your instincts that something is going on with your child. Please seek help from someone who is qualified to help you figure out what it is.

A word of caution

It is best not to dive into asking direct questions of your child. Eating disorders are secretive and can go underground when directly challenged. Even the most loving parents can inadvertently make mistakes when approaching an eating disorder. Questions about eating behaviors – even if they seem benign – can feel confrontational or threatening. Many kids resist parental involvement in our eating disorders and will deny their existence even when asked directly.

Begin by contacting the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Helpline at (800) 931-2237. Trained volunteers are available Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 9AM to 5PM ET.

parent coach

The best approach is to consult with a trained and experienced eating disorder expert. They will answer your questions and provide guidance about the best way to approach this with your child.

A gentle, compassionate, and calm approach will help your child enter recovery willingly, which will lead to much greater success. No matter how much you love your child, they are unlikely to recover for your sake alone. They need to find their own drive for recovery.

Take the quiz: Does my child have an eating disorder quiz

Does My Child Have an Eating Disorder Quiz (3)

If you would like to read more about how parents can recognize eating disorder symptoms, please check out these articles:

3 defining symptoms of eating disorders that everyone overlooks

Body hate and obsession with appearance are not “normal” teenage behaviors

But she doesn’t look like she has an eating disorder! What people need to know about the emotional profile of eating disorders

Ginny Jones is the editor of She writes about parenting, body image, disordered eating, and eating disorders. Ginny is also a Parent Coach who helps parents handle their kids’ food and body issues.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only.

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