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Chesterfield County Public Schools

Eating Disorders

According to the National Eating Disorders Association:

  • Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes and weights. While no one knows for sure what causes eating disorders, a growing consensus suggests that it is a range of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.
  • Eating disorders are not fads or phases and can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships.
  • Eating disorders can develop or re-emerge at any age. Eating disorder specialists are reporting an increase in the diagnosis of children, some as young as 5 or 6. Many eating disorder sufferers report that their thoughts and behaviors started much earlier than anyone realized, sometimes even in early childhood. Although most people report the onset of their eating disorder in their teens and young adulthood, there is some evidence that people are being diagnosed at younger ages.

Early detection and treatment of eating disorders offer the best opportunity for positive outcomes and minimal long-term consequences. Additional information can be found at

Updated on August 2, 2022
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