Identification and Management of Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Pediatrics. 2021 Jan;147(1):e2020040279. doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-040279. Epub 2020 Dec 21.


Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses afflicting individuals through the life span, with a particular impact on both the physical and psychological development of children and adolescents. Because care for children and adolescents with eating disorders can be complex and resources for the treatment of eating disorders are often limited, pediatricians may be called on to not only provide medical supervision for their patients with diagnosed eating disorders but also coordinate care and advocate for appropriate services. This clinical report includes a review of common eating disorders diagnosed in children and adolescents, outlines the medical evaluation of patients suspected of having an eating disorder, presents an overview of treatment strategies, and highlights opportunities for advocacy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Child
  • Family Therapy
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / complications
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / therapy*
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical History Taking
  • Pediatricians
  • Physical Examination
  • Physician's Role
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Residential Treatment