Not One More | McCallum Place

March 01, 2023


Coming off the heels of new clinical guidelines introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics, we come alongside the National Alliance for Eating Disorders to join efforts to protect our children and ensure that NOT ONE MORE child is taken by this disease.

At McCallum Place, we strive to promote education within our community so NOT ONE MORE sign or symptom of a child’s eating disorder goes unnoticed. Early detection is not only key, but vital, and can save lives.

Our current culture and media spend a lot of time thinking, talking, blogging and watching videos about dieting, food choice, weight loss, and exercise. Amid this wave of information, our children can get caught up in information that is misleading, misinformed, or simply harmful. Combined with the stresses of childhood, this focus on food, appearance, and exercise can contribute to some children and adolescents developing disordered eating behaviors or fully diagnosable eating disorders.

Sometimes these disorders go unrecognized for a period of time, and a child may lose a substantial amount of weight or suffer other medical effects. Because early detection of an eating disorder improves the chances of recovery, it is important for parents to know the signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other disordered eating behaviors. NOT ONE MORE.

Signs and Symptoms of an Eating Disorder in Your Child or Adolescent

We often see kids skipping meals, wanting to prepare their own meals, eating alone, avoiding whole groups of foods, counting calories, grams of fats or carbohydrates, or being very picky about food. Sometimes kids will be overly concerned about the nutritional value of food and spend a lot of time reading, thinking and researching food, calories, and diet choices.

Other Signs that Should be Noticed by Attentive Parents

Children spending a lot of time in the bathroom after meals may be an indication that purging is occurring. Binge eating is often discovered when food is suddenly missing from the household supply. Children or teens who are obsessively exercising or secretively exercising are likely struggling with body image distress and concern about weight, size, and shape. Of course, noticing weight loss or sudden weight change is important as these can indicate an eating disorder or another medical issue, which would merit the attention of a physician.

Finally, a child’s appearance can offer clues to health concerns or disordered eating behaviors. Kids with eating disorders will often appear pale and withdrawn. Their clothes may no longer fit or they may begin wearing baggy clothes or out-of-season winter clothes to hide their appearance.

Seek Professional Help for Your Child or Teen

If you notice any of these things in your child, please seek medical attention for the possibility of an eating disorder or another medical problem. Your first appointment should be with a medical professional who is confident and educated on the symptoms of an eating disorder. Your doctor may also recommend working with a licensed therapist or a registered dietitian. Seeking professional help for your child or teen guarantees that NOT ONE MORE child is taken by this disease.

McCallum Place Eating Disorder Centers, located in St. Louis and Kansas City, offers gender inclusive residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programming, and transitional living options. Supporting children (ages 10+), adolescents, adults, and athletes, McCallum Place promotes flexibility and trust around food, nourishment, and hydration, and fosters a balanced relationship with movement and exercise. Visit or contact 1.800.828.8158 for more information.