Understanding Eating Disorders in Children and Teens

Mon 25th Mar. 2019 | 19.30-21.15
The Maltings Theatre, St. Albans AL1 3HL

Eating Disorders often appear in the media and have touched many personally. At one extreme they are trivialised as vanity or a lifestyle choice, and at the other cause alarm due to high profile deaths. Effective psychological treatments are available and the majority of young people recover if they get high quality care early enough. Dr. Nicholls will describe the characteristics of eating disorders, as well as outlining disturbances of eating behaviour that would not be classified as eating disorders. Once established, eating disorders can have a profound effect on young people and on their families. This talk will focus on the early signs of eating disorders, risks for developing eating disorders, and how parents can help if they recognise these difficulties in their child. Dr Nicholls will touch on the latest research about what makes one child vulnerable to developing an eating disorder when another child from the same family and in the same environment may not. The sorts of treatment that a young person should expect will also be outlined, along with pointers to useful sources of support.

Who is this event for?

This talk is primarily for parents of children age eight and above who are interested in increasing their awareness of this issue. It will also be of interest to all those who work with children and adolescents. The talk will not cover other types of eating difficulties such as fussy or picky eating.

What parents will gain from the event

  • An understanding of the types of eating disorder and knowledge of how they differ from ‘normal’ concern about eating, weight and shape
  • Recognition of the early signs of disordered eating behaviour and how to respond
  • An understanding of some of the factors that may keep an eating disorder going once it has developed
  • Knowledge about the types of effective psychological treatment that are available
  • Knowledge of who to contact and where to turn if you need more help

About our speaker

Dr Dasha Nicholls is a Reader in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Imperial College London and works as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders Psychiatrist in London and Bedfordshire. Previously she co-led the Feeding and Eating Disorders service (FEDS) at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Her clinical work is concerned with feeding and eating disorders in children and adolescents, including early onset eating disorders, avoidant restrictive food intake disorders, and child and adolescent obesity. She has published over 60 research articles and book chapters and is actively engaged in lecturing and teaching. She is Past President of the Academy of Eating Disorders, was Chair of the Junior MARSIPAN group, is a member of the NICE Guideline Committee and Expert Reference Group, and is chair of the Eating Disorders Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.