The Grooming of an Eating Disorder

My friend’s sister, Robin, has a 14 year old son, Will, who she thinks is overweight. Perhaps Will has put on a few pounds, but he’s extremely active and athletic. And probably about to grow. He looks fine to me.

Robin has begun policing his food. She’s taken all desserts, treats and junky food out of the house and watches him like a hawk.

Now we hear that Will regularly goes downstairs to his grandparents apartment and binges on all their ice cream and candy and chips. Robin finds all kinds of wrappers and containers and empty bags in his room.

That’s what happens when food gets restricted. That’s what happened with me. I, like Will, wasn’t particularly overweight when we began watching my weight. I was probably 10 or 11 when high-calorie food went off limits.

And so I would go to friend’s houses and park myself in front of their cabinets. They’d want to go out and play or watch tv. I only wanted to eat their junk food. I still cringe when I think about much Chef Boyardee and chocolate pudding I consumed at Liz Wechsler’s over the course of our friendship.

What would have happened to Will and to me if our weights were considered okay and we were left alone?

It’s really concerning to me how many kids get shoved on to the diet cycle when their bodies (and minds) are just fine.

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