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How to Handle Overeating in Children

Learn about overeating in children and how to handle it from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So it's not uncommon for children or teenagers to sometimes overeat. There's a lot of mindless eating while we're sitting in front of the TV or if we're out sharing and enjoying a pizza with friends. However, when eating becomes excessive and compulsive, then the situation is problematic. Compulsive or overeating is emotional eating and it's often related to some type of stress or some type of feeling of inadequacy. Overeating really is related to difficulties with self esteem in many instances. Overeating to decrease this, the underlying issues must be considered. Strategies to decrease overeating really relate to some behavioral factors. It's important to eat only when you're hungry. It's important for a child to maybe sit down with the family and eat so that there is dialog rather than eating in isolation, where you can really monitor how much you're eating. It's also important to eat at very specific and consistent times so you're very aware of what you're eating. Typically, overeating is something that can be handled behaviorally. However, if this is excessive and compulsive, and issues related to health exacerbate, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, then medical intervention needs to be involved. Children who overeat or who have compulsive overeating often need the advice of a professional. While overeating and compulsive eating are linked to other very significant eating disorders, this is just some of the information related to this type of disorder.

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