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Pediatric Anorexia Nervosa

Key Points About Anorexia in Children

  • Anorexia is a serious medical illness that affects a child's eating behaviors. It's an eating disorder marked by self-starvation.
  • A combination of things raise the risk for this illness. They include genetic, biological, environmental, behavioral, psychological and social factors.
  • Children from all socioeconomic groups and many ethnic and racial groups can suffer from this illness. It can also appear in adulthood.
  • A child with anorexia has low body weight. They often have a distorted view of their body.
  • Physical symptoms may include very dry skin, belly pain and constipation. Physical symptoms can become serious and life-threatening.
  • A mental health expert can diagnose anorexia.
  • Treatment may include therapy and nutritional rehab. Family therapy may be an important part of treatment.
  • Treatment can be successful. But it's important to have consistent follow-up for both the child and their family.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Brooke Bokor

Brooke Bokor

Director, Student and Resident Education, Youth Pride
Adolescent Medicine Specialist
Tomas Silber

Tomas Silber

Medical Director, Eating Disorders Clinic
Executive Committee, Ethics Program
Adolescent Medicine Specialist


Eating Disorders Clinic

The Eating Disorders Clinic treats adolescents and teens with eating disorders.

Psychology and Behavioral Health

In the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health, our child psychologists and other mental health professionals work exclusively with children and teens, emphasizing patient and family-focused care.

Bone Health Program

Orthopaedists at Children’s National offer world-renowned expertise and life-changing care, including surgery, for children at high risk for bone fracture.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children’s National offers assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders.