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Understanding eating disorders in adolescence

Canped.ca is an evidence-based resource developed as a support tool for all those involved in the care of a youth or adolescent (between the ages of 9-18) who may be suffering from an eating disorder or eating difficulties. This webpage provides links to information for:

  • Caregivers seeking information and support on how best to support a child with an eating disorder
  • Physicians with questions on eating disorder diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Fast facts (what you need to know)

  • Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with significant medical risks, including risk of death. Learn more
  • Patients can be medically stable with normal lab tests and can still have a serious eating disorder. Learn more
  • Patients can have a normal or high Body Mass Index (BMI) (> 25 kg/m²) and still have a serious eating disorder. Learn more
  • Starvation has devastating consequences on the body and brain. Learn more
  • Eating disorders overwhelm the brain in a similar way to OCD: the illness, NOT the patient, is in control. Learn more
  • Families do not cause eating disorders but are an essential part of the treatment team. Learn more
  • Eating disorders are multifactorial, they are not a choice, and not the fault of the patients or the parents. Learn more
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