Eating Disorders

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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Handbook of Childhood Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Treatment


Eating problems or irregularities are common among children and adolescents. When the problems reach the point of being gross disturbances in eating behavior and when accompanied by some form of body image disturbance, we enter the realm of the eating disorders (EDs). The current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013) includes a chapter called "Feeding and Eating Disorders," which comprises eight disorders: pica, rumination disorder, aviodant/restrictive food intake disorder, anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and two residual diagnoses. In this chapter, we review AN, BN, BED, and their variants (which may fall into the two residual categories). See Hong and Dixon (this volume) for a discussion of pica and Penrod and Fryling (this volume) or Bryant-Waugh (2013) for a discussion of other feeding disorders. Another eating-related problem among children is obesity, but a discussion of obesity and related problems is beyond the scope of the current chapter. See Altman and Wilfley (2015) for a review of the literature on treatment of childhood obesity.


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