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Eating Disorders Increasing Among Children
Nation's Leading Eating Disorder Treatment Center, Remuda Ranch, States Nearly 20 Percent of its Patients Report Onset of Eating Disorder Before the Age of 12

PHOENIX, June 27/Christian Newswire/ -- Eating disorders among children are on the rise. Statistics show 63 percent of elementary school teachers are concerned with eating disorders in their classrooms. Eighty percent of preteen girls are dieting, and those who diet are eight times more likely to develop an eating disorder. Eighty one percent of 10 year olds are afraid of becoming fat and more than 50 percent of 9 and 10 year olds report feeling better when dieting.

“We have seen a 300 percent increase in the number of calls from preteen patients,” said Amy Gerberry, program director and therapist at Remuda Ranch’s children’s program. “Eating disorders are increasing rapidly in preteen girls. It’s because of our culture’s obsession with dieting and thinness.”

“Children are being targeted with messages and products promoting diets and body image dissatisfaction,” adds Gerberry. “There are more and more sexualized and objectified images of children in the media today than in the past.”

Gerberry also adds there is a declining age of menarche (the onset of menstruation) in American females. Menarche can be a trigger for eating disorders in girls who are afraid to grow up.

Remuda Ranch, a leading treatment facility for women and girls suffering from anorexia, bulimia and related issues, opened a treatment facility specifically for girls under age 13 two years ago. At Remuda’s children’s center, the comprehensive inpatient program makes a lasting impact on young lives.

“We are seeing patients come in as young as seven and eight years old,” says Gerberry. “Our program is tailored specifically to the needs of children. Therapy is much more experiential and hands-on, with an active equine program that the girls love. There’s also lots of involvement with the family.”

Remuda Ranch believes the following are signs of an eating disorder in children:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased exercise (to an excessive level)
  • Increased isolation
  • Decreased desire to participate in social activities
  • Obsession with weight and body
  • Increase in secretive, sneaky behavior

“I recommend parents talk openly about fears and behaviors,” adds Gerberry. “If there is concern, consult with a therapist.”

About Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating Disorders Remuda Ranch is a caring place for women and girls who are suffering from eating disorders and related issues. Remuda Treatment Programs offer Christian inpatient and residential treatment for women and girls of all faiths suffering from an eating disorder. Each patient is treated by a multi-disciplinary team including a Psychiatric and a Primary Care Provider, Registered Dietitian, Masters Level therapist, Psychologist and Registered Nurse. The professional staff equips each patient with the right tools to live a healthy, productive life. For more information, call 1- 800-445-1900 or visit www.remudaranch.com.