Q. A 14-year-old skips food often. Is it fine?

Answered by
Dr. Amit Jauhari
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Hello doctor,

I am worried about my daughter. She is 14 years old and suffers from anxiety, often triggered by being in a crowd or busy environment. In recent months she has started avoiding food. She skips breakfast and then does not eat lunch at school. She will, however, eat her tea at home. Even if it is a high-fat meal. She has gone from 9 stone to 8 stone in approximately eight months. She admitted that skipping meals started after a girl at school called her fat. I am not sure if skipping meals classes as an eating disorder but this has gone on too long to be just a phase. Should I be worried?

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Dr. Amit Jauhari

MD PHYSICIAN., MD PULMONOLOGY
General Medicine Internal Medicine Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors)

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Teenagers go through difficult phases of mental, emotional and physical growth. It is really good that as a parent you are paying full attention, now here are some suggestions. Do not be critical of your child's behavior. Gently try to introduce the idea that health and being thin are separate. If the child is unable or unwilling to eat proper breakfast or lunch, ask what they would prefer. Use the internet to show the required calories and their sources, try substituting healthy food with her choice and consent. Talk to the school counselor and maybe their help can solve the issue.

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