The Growing Trend of Tweens and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders have been common in teens and adults, and now it's starting to cross over to tweens.

"In the last two years, we've actually had to add a treatment track to deal with kids ages 9 to 11," says Margaret Kelley, clinical nurse manager for the eating disorders treatment program at Children's Hospital Colorado.

The majority of kids in this country don't have an eating disorder and will probably never develop one. However, there has been a recent trend in the rise of "disordered eating" -- a pattern of dieting or calorie restriction that's unhealthy and a known trigger for eating disorders.

Statistics from the National Eating Disorders Association:

  • 42% of kids in first through third grades wish they were thinner
  • 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of becoming fat
  • 51% of 9- and 10-year-old girls say they feel better about themselves when they are on a diet.

Read more about the growing trend of anorexia in tweens.

Learn more about Children's Colorado Eating Disorders Treatment Program.