CNN recently featured an important Q&A about the diagnosis of eating disorders in young children. As a child with an eating disorder turned young woman with a distorted image of self, I can say that fears of gaining weight, a deepening interest in physical activity and overall preoccupation with mirrors and the body are causes for concern.
Author of "100 Questions and Answers about Anorexia Nervosa, Dr. Shepphird reports that "the majority of new cases of anorexia are diagnosed between the ages of 13 and 18, about 10 percent of patients with eating disorders show an onset of their symptoms before age 10, and eating disorders have been reported in children as young as 5." FIVE!?
If you or your child need help discerning being a 'picky eater' from early signs of a disorder, I recommend speaking to a medical professional. Eating disorders are multifaceted medical conditions that are often frightening for both individuals and families. I personally benefited from the services at the Center for Eating Disorders at Shepperd Pratt, a leading provider of treatment in the region since 1989.
For more information on eating disorders, getting help and additional resources, visit: http://www.eatingdisorder.org/