Hopefully, every time you explore the well, your pediatrician will record your child’s growth on the CDC growth chart, which compares height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) with age-based averages. why? Because the CDC growth chart is one of the best tools for early identification of eating disorders (and other problems).
Eating disorders most often begin during adolescence and can quickly become severe. Studies have shown that early intervention can improve the chances of a full recovery.
Unfortunately, most pediatricians are not trained in early detection of eating disorders. In addition, in the face of current social concerns about obesity, doctors may be more sensitive to patients’ weight exceeding expectations and miss signs of restrictive eating disorders including anorexia nervosa. Therefore, the vigilance of parents can make a big difference.
Contrary to what the promise of commercial food companies and the war on fat implies, not everyone should be an average weight for their age and height.
Weight and height are largely determined by genes. Consider the size of the foot, which has a normal distribution. Although today’s average women’s shoe size is 8.5, most of them don’t—some are 5, and some are 10. The same is true for weight. Not everyone is destined to weigh 50thpercentile-some will be heavier, some will be lighter.
Check the child’s growth over the years
In the first year of life, the curve of a child’s growth to a significant degree reflects the environmental factors of the baby and the mother during pregnancy.
By about the second year of life, the child begins to grow along a trend line that more accurately reflects his or her unique genetic growth potential. In healthy children, both height and weight increase along a fairly constant growth curve. However, some children grow steadily in the 25th percentile, others grow steadily in the 50th percentile, and some children grow steadily in the 95th percentile.
Their height and weight percentages may be similar or different. This may be normal for that child.
It is recommended to take annual measurements so that there is enough information to determine whether the child has fallen off the growth trajectory in a dangerous way. This is one of the reasons why paediatric appointments are made every year. If you change your pediatrician, it is best to transfer your growth records so that you can keep a complete record.
It is worth noting that many children and adolescents with anorexia nervosa do not really lose weight. However, they should generally grow up at this age-it is common for children to gain 30 pounds during adolescence.
The lack of weight gain may be a sign of malnutrition and is as dangerous as actual weight loss. Malnutrition during adolescence can lead to weak bones and permanent short height. The lack of weight gain in growing children should be a cause for concern. It can mean eating disorders or many other health problems. If a child has a feeding problem before the age of 6, classify it as a feeding disorder, not an eating disorder. Feeding disorders can have dangerous medical consequences for children, including stunting, stunting, and malnutrition.
Professionals also use growth curves to determine recovery target weight, and research shows that these curves are the best way to determine an individual’s treatment target weight (more accurate than using BMI), when they are available.
They can help professionals to accurately estimate women’s weight during menstrual periods after amenorrhea (due to reduced menstrual periods due to malnutrition).
A drop from the trend line of the height or weight growth chart may indicate a potential problem. For example, if a child who has been tracking height or weight along the 75thpercentile suddenly starts tracking along the 40thpercentile, even if they are not technically underweight on the BMI chart, there is reason to be curious and possibly worried. Sometimes a child with anorexia will drop before the height curve and then fall off the weight curve, which is why it is important to keep track of both.
A recent study by Marion and colleagues reviewed the growth curves of 137 children and adolescents hospitalized in France. The results of the study showed that 48% of patients showed deviations in the growth curve about 10 months before their parents first noticed symptoms of eating disorders. The researchers stated that their study “emphasizes the need for more detailed analysis of growth charts to detect anorexia nervosa in children and adolescents earlier.”
Parents can plot the growth of their children on the following charts, or obtain growth records from their children’s doctors:
Parents can also draw a growth curve electronically (for free) on my growth chart, and can learn how to read the growth chart.
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If you notice that your child’s height or weight curve has dropped, ask your doctor to perform a careful medical history and physical examination. There are many possible explanations for growth failure, and eating disorders are just one of them. The doctor may need to perform additional tests.
It is also important to note that not all patients with eating disorders will lose weight or lose weight. Eating disorders can occur in people of all body types.