Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: January 2010

17 - Eating disorders

from Part 4 - Psychiatric disorders


The range of eating disorders in children includes selective eating, food avoidance emotional disorder, functional dysphagia, and pervasive refusal syndrome. This chapter provides background information, including theories of etiology concerning early-onset anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The majority of physical changes in anorexia nervosa are predominantly related to the effects of starvation and dehydration. Herzog reported that major depressive disorder was the most prevalent comorbid disorder, occurring in 37% of patients with anorexia nervosa. The physical manifestations of bulimia nervosa are initially less dramatic than those of anorexia nervosa because weight is usually maintained within normal range. A number of other eating disorders are identified in children. Other eating disorders include food avoidance emotional disorder, selective eating and pervasive refusal syndrome. A number of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in female adult and adolescent patients with anorexia nervosa have shown structural abnormalities in the brain.