Eating and body image disorders and young people

Eating disorders and body image disorders are serious mental illnesses in which eating, weight
or dissatisfaction with one’s appearance becomes an unhealthy preoccupation in a person’s life.
Adolescence is the peak period for onset of these disorders and they lead to significant interference with day to day life.

Eating and body image disorders can occur when the expectations of how a young person wants their body to look doesn’t match up to reality. Negative thought about body image and self-worth can lead to changes in eating and exercise behaviours or compulsive behaviours, which at their worst can be life threatening. Both males and females can become excessively concerned with body image, size, weight, fitness, shape and perceived defects, and as a result of this preoccupation, change their behaviour in unhealthy ways.