Identification and management of eating disorders in children and adolescents

Pediatrics. 2010 Dec;126(6):1240-53. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2821. Epub 2010 Nov 29.


The incidence and prevalence of eating disorders in children and adolescents has increased significantly in recent decades, making it essential for pediatricians to consider these disorders in appropriate clinical settings, to evaluate patients suspected of having these disorders, and to manage (or refer) patients in whom eating disorders are diagnosed. This clinical report includes a discussion of diagnostic criteria and outlines the initial evaluation of the patient with disordered eating. Medical complications of eating disorders may affect any organ system, and careful monitoring for these complications is required. The range of treatment options, including pharmacotherapy, is described in this report. Pediatricians are encouraged to advocate for legislation and policies that ensure appropriate services for patients with eating disorders, including medical care, nutritional intervention, mental health treatment, and care coordination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Identification, Psychological*
  • Nutrition Therapy / methods*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation*