Different from, but connected to eating disorders, eating anxiety is something that parents may find their children encountering at any point of their journey through childhood and adolescence. 

The complexity of eating anxiety stems from a combination of social, psychological, and environmental factors. Young people may develop this anxiety due to social pressures related to eating in front of others, fears about body image, or due to more ingrained issues such as eating disorders. Additionally, cultural norms or dietary restrictions can also play significant roles, as can direct experiences like bullying or teasing related to food choices or eating habits.

Whilst not a formally recognised condition, eating anxiety is a genuine and often overwhelming experience that can significantly hinder a young person’s ability to participate in everyday activities comfortably. This condition can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies and social withdrawal, impacting overall health and academic performance.

Recognising and addressing eating anxiety is crucial for parents, carers, and educators. Rangitoto College does a lot to encourage healthy and positive eating habits. However, through education and community action, we can help young people manage their anxieties and improve their relationship with food, thereby enhancing their overall well-being and social interactions.

The latest SchoolTV article will help you understand how best to support a child experiencing anxiety around eating. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school counselling team for further information or seek other medical or professional help.

To access the special report on Eating Anxiety, click HERE.

Jay Smith
HOD Guidance