Eating Disorders in Children: Causes and Treatment with a Pedagogical Approach


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Eating disorders in children are a common health problem and can affect children's physical, mental, and emotional health. Eating disorders can occur as a result of the interaction of many factors, and it is known that a pedagogical approach plays an important role in the treatment process. In this article, the causes of eating disorders in children and their treatment with a pedagogical approach will be discussed.

I. Causes of Eating Disorders

  1. Genetic Factors: Genetic factors may play an important role in the development of eating disorders in children. It is known that these problems are more common in children of individuals with a family history of eating disorders.
  2. Psychological Factors: The most common psychological factors underlying eating disorders in children include low self-esteem, feelings of loss of control, stress, anxiety disorders, and emotional trauma. These factors can affect the child's eating habits and pave the way for the emergence of eating disorders.
  3. Environmental Factors: The child's environmental conditions may also be effective in the formation of eating disorders. Factors such as family eating habits, an overweight or underweight body image, negative food-related experiences (for example, poisoning with a food), social pressures, and the influence of the media can influence a child's eating behavior.

II. Treatment of Eating Disorders with a Pedagogical Approach

  1. Individualized Planning: Each child's experience with an eating disorder may be different, so individualized planning is important during the treatment process. A customized treatment plan should be created by a pedagogue or specialist, taking into account the child's individual needs and goals.
  2. Teaching Healthy Eating Habits: Teaching children healthy eating habits is an essential step in treating eating disorders. Training should be given on topics such as food groups, portion control, regular meal times and a balanced nutrition regime.
  3. Emotional Support and Stress Management: Eating disorders in children are often associated with emotional problems. Therefore, pedagogues and specialists should provide emotional support to the child and teach stress management skills. It is important to increase self-confidence, develop emotional expression skills and teach stress coping strategies.
  4. Family Participation: It is of great importance that the family plays an active role in the treatment process. Family members should support the child's eating habits, provide a healthy eating environment, and comply with the treatment plan. Family counseling and education can increase the child's chances of recovery during treatment.
  5. Long Term Support: Treating eating disorders can be a long-term process and may require ongoing support and monitoring of the child. Pedagogues and specialists should make regular follow-up visits to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and ensure the child's continued well-being.
  6. Behavior Change Approach: A key component of a pedagogical approach is the use of behavior change techniques. The child's negative behaviors associated with eating disorders should be identified and healthier behaviors should be taught instead of these behaviors. For example, strategies such as using relaxation techniques to reduce stress during the eating process or making creative food presentations to make meals more enjoyable can be implemented.
  7. Being a Role Model: Pedagogues should emphasize the importance of being a role model in the treatment of eating disorders in children. Demonstrating healthy eating habits, displaying a positive body view, and not openly expressing food-related fears or obsessions can influence a child's behavior. Pedagogues should encourage families to display these role model behaviors.
  8. Developing Self-Management Skills: It is important to develop self-management skills in the treatment of children's eating disorders. Self-management skills can help the child make food choices, recognize feelings of fullness and hunger, and eat according to his or her nutritional needs. Pedagogues should teach the child these skills and help them integrate them into daily life activities.
  9. Communication and Empathy: Effective communication and empathy have an important place in the pedagogical approach. Establishing open communication and supporting the child to understand their feelings and experiences can promote progress in the treatment process. Pedagogues must empathize with the child to understand their emotional needs and provide them with a supportive environment.

A pedagogical approach is an effective method for treating eating disorders in children. Children can be supported to cope with eating disorders and create a healthy diet by using pedagogical strategies such as individualized planning, teaching healthy eating habits, behavioral change, role modeling, developing self-management skills, communication and empathy. Guided by a qualified pedagogue or specialist, this process can improve children's physical, mental and emotional health and leave a lasting impact on their lives.


  1. Johnson, C., & Birch, L. (1994). Eating disorders in children: etiology and treatment. Pediatrician, 21(2), 121-133.
  2. Lock, J., & Le Grange, D. (2015). Treatment manual for anorexia nervosa: A family-based approach. Guilford Publications.
  3. Treasure, J., Claudino, A. M., & Zucker, N. (2010). Eating disorders. The Lancet, 375(9714), 583-593.

I hope this article helps you understand a pedagogical approach and treatment process for eating disorders in children. You can refer to the sources for more information.

Eating Disorders in Children: Causes and Treatment with a Pedagogical Approach

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