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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet



Is this an eating disorder?

I i am 14 years old and DESPERATLEY want to lose weight! i no i am fat ! i am 5ft 1 and i am just 8 stone [112 pounds] and everyone says i have a "nice figure" i hate myself! i dont eat breakfast or lunch at school and i only eat dinner when i get home at about 6 o'clock ( beacuse my parents make me!) my parents dont know about this they think i eat at skool. i keep fainting and going dizzy and im getting told its because i dont eat but drink a lot of caffine. i cant look at myself anymore coz it makes me cry. my friends are supprotive of my decision "not to eat" but they also say im a bit daft because i am fine how i am. other people keep saying im fat and picking on me, this really gets to me as i have been bullied a long time for my weight. my boyfriend tells me im stupid and daft for feeling this way and i sopose because of this i do it all the more coz he thinks im an idiot and if i dont get the support it makes me upset and hate myself more ... i dont really talk to anyone about how i feel i just do what i can to try and make myself feel happy, even if that means not eating or sliting my wrists. sometimes when my parents are in i will say i dont like my figure but they just say im stupid and i sopose that makes me feel worse coz they dont support my opinion...... or whatever. infront of my parents i will eat, but when im in the house alone ill make myself sick . . . literally . no one knows about this, but it makes me feel better. im losing weight but only slowly i really want to lose about 2 stone, i no it sounds stupid and some of the things im doing you may think are out of proportion. i just want to know wether you think i have an eating disorder or not and if so, what can i do ? i really really REALLY want to be thin ! i just dont know how to go about gettin there. at the moment this is the only way i can get satisfaction and feel like i might be loosing some weight. please please please PLEASE help me ! i really want to be thin and have a nice figure but i dont want to hurt myself doing it ... and i think that might be happening.. its getting into a habbit now .. not eating and im getting used to it i dont miss not having food its like a second nature. but i do faint a lol and go dizzy, have black outs and apparnntley my pupils are like pin pricks. please tell me what to do im DESPERATE !!!!

Dr. Gourmet Says...

You must tell your parents that you want to talk to them about a very serious issue and then sit down to discuss your concerns. From what you describe, you do have problems with food, and I think that it is very important that you and your parents to make an appointment with your G.P. as soon as possible.

You sound like an extremely bright young woman. The fact that you have written an email with so much thought and concern proves this. From what you say in your email your weight is good right now and you shouldn't lose any more weight. Learning about your correct weight and eating healthy can be a challenge for some people and at 14 years old it is an important time for you to conquer that challenge.

In the close of your email you asked me to tell you what to do because you were desperate and my advice is very clear. It is critical that you talk about this openly with your family and your physician right now. Show your parents and G.P. your email so they can understand how important this is to you right now.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet