A study has found that younger children are increasingly being diagnosed with eating disorders like anorexia.
Child and adolescent psychiatrist at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital, Dr Sloane Madden, studied children under 13 years old with eating disorders.
Dr Madden found children as young as eight years old were being diagnosed with anorexia and she says most children were diagnosed at the age of 11 – and many ended up in hospital.
“At least 50 per cent of the children had severe complications from their starvation,” she said.
“They were unable to maintain a normal heart rate or blood pressure or temperature, to the point that these children were at risk of dying from the complication of their eating disorder.”
The findings are being presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists conference in Melbourne.
Dr Madden says one in four children studied were boys.
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