With girls though, certain things like not attracting boys attention, not succeeding in gymnastics or cheerleading can lead to an eating disorder. Also because of the pressure now to be thin in modern day life some girls believe that you can’t be beautiful unless your are model thin.
What they don’t understand is that there are some girls who are naturally thin do to being an ectomorph body type (thin bone structure with a super fast metabolism). What this can lead to is the anorexic girl who puts herself on what she considers a very strict diet. Generally this means cutting down on calories to a ridiculously low and unhealthy level.
On average a girl should be taking in approximately 1500 calories every day to remain healthy. Unfortunately an anorexic person is willing to go as low as a few 100 to even less than 100 calories per day.
As for a bulimic person she will generally try to restrict her diet. When the bulimic person feels they have eaten too much then they either do self induced vomiting or take excessive amount of laxatives.
This can then lead to an ongoing pattern of binge eating and purging.
There are ways of preventing your teenager becoming susceptible to these diseases.
Its good practice to allow your teenager to go on a diet, but you must personally monitor that eating plan with her. Once you get the signs that they are concerned with their weight then sit down and work out an exercise plan and eating plan together.
Communication and food/nutrition knowledge are really key for eating disorders in girls, so work hard on these 2 topics. Input some help by buying in the healthier foods like salads, fruits and raw vegetables as well.
An important point is to show your teenager that its really OK to eat, its just the kind of foods they eat that they should be careful with. Please understand that this is in fact a mental disease, so punishing or grounding your teenager for having an eating disorder will only make matters worse.
A feeling of helplessness is normal as a parent though you must understand that this disease has to be dealt with as soon as possible as it massively affects their teenage health.