More youngsters diagnosed with eating disorders
At SGH, a third of 95 teens treated last year for anorexia or bulimia had to be hospitalised
More teenagers, some as young as 13, are being treated at public hospitals here for eating disorders.
Figures from the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) show that 95 youngsters aged 13 to 19 suffered from anorexia or bulimia last year, up from 65 in 2011 and 75 the year before.
"About a third of these cases needed hospitalisation," said Dr Lee Huei Yen, director of the eating disorders programme at SGH.
The number of these young patients with eating disorders outpaces the number of adult patients, which also went up from 40 in 2008 to 70 last year.
SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams and dieting
- Experiencing anxiety and intense fear about gaining weight or being fat
- Developing food rituals or eating food in a certain order, for instance, cutting up food into tiny pieces
- Having an excessive, rigid exercise regimen
- Withdrawing from friends and social activities
- Binge eating or eating large quantities of food in short periods of time, often secretly and to the point of feeling out of control
- Unusual swelling of cheeks or jaw area
- "Purging" behaviour or self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, fasting, compulsive exercise
- Calluses on the back of the hands from self-induced vomiting
- Discoloration or staining of the teeth