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Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 03:17 AM


(Newser) – Many teens dabble with vegetarianism, and the choice is usually accepted by parents as a mild form of rebellion. But a new study suggests some use vegetarianism to hide an eating disorder, Time reports. Researchers found that 20% to 25% of current and former vegetarians had engaged in binge eating or extreme dieting such as laxative pills or forced vomiting—compared to only 5% of meat eaters.
While more likely to engage in eating-disorder behaviors, vegetarians ate somewhat healthier diets and were less likely to be overweight than omnivores. Vegetarianism is a useful cloak because it is a socially acceptable reason to decline eating many foods, researchers say. They recommend that parents and doctors pay extra attention to any teen who suddenly becomes a vegetarian.
This is interesting research. It is definitely a high number and it is something that should be watched, I think.

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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 03:53 AM

I suppose that seems correct. Many of the people with eating disorders (or I think they have) at campus are vegetarians.
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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 04:33 AM

That's really interesting. I've never heard of that but it makes sense, I think. And it's sort of scary.

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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 04:48 AM

This actually made me laugh, mainly because not all vegetarians eat healthy and that I'm one of those Eating disordered vegetarians.It is a bit scary how many people use vegetarianism to hide eating disorders, even more so the fact the most people overlook them not eating or such if they claim to be a vegetarian.

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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 11:46 AM

Twenty-five percent? That fairly higher than I would've expected. I have a fair number of friends who are vegetarians, and they all seem to be doing okay.


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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 03:46 PM

I'm vegetarian and suffer from an ED, but i've never linked the two. I guess it does help mask it, as it prevents friends questioning.

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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 8th 2009, 03:56 PM

I did this for a while, actually, a few years back. My mentor eventually caught on, though, and confronted me. It does make hiding disordered eating easier. There are SO many signs parents should be looking for, though, not just this.

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Re: Teens Hide Eating Disorders with Vegetarianism - April 11th 2009, 05:24 AM

This is a good post. It's an important thing to watch for, since obviously being vegetarian (or even vegan) would give you an excuse not to eat a lot of things. But at the same time, not all people that are vegetarian have an eating disorder (like me), and not people that have an eating disorder are vegetarian.

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