Being overweight and obese 1 are risk factors for many serious and chronic health conditions and a major public health issue in Australia. Rates of being overweight and obese in Australia have risen over recent decades, with nearly two in three adults and one in four children considered to be overweight or obese in Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], While rates of being overweight and obese are increasing, thin or even 'ultra-thin' bodies are often idealised in contemporary modern cultures, particularly for women. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a 'snapshot' of how young people are faring in relation to eating problems at years of age, the types of actions they take to control their weight and the association between those actions, particularly dieting, and physical and mental health outcomes. Eating disorders are characterised by abnormal eating behaviours and psychological disturbance related to food and weight.
Box , Nydalen, , Oslo, Norway. Box , Blindern, , Oslo, Norway. This longitudinal community study investigated the role of individual risk factors in early childhood before age five for the development of eating problems in adolescence. Nine hundred twenty-one mothers completed the first questionnaire when their child was 1. Mother-rated early childhood sleep problems assessed before the age of five predicted self-rated eating problems in adolescents, with gender, birth weight, and a number of early childhood internal and environmental factors controlled. Unexpectedly, early childhood eating problems were not associated with later eating problems. The possible role of sleep in the development of eating problems needs further investigation.
Anxiety always seemed to hover in the background of her life, even during primary school. Her mother recalls how she would be curled up in a ball in bed some mornings not wanting to go to school. But at second level it began to take over her life. Then there were school tests, where anything less than per cent felt like a failure.
Eating a varied diet is good for your health, but many people don't achieve this. Some autistic people have a restricted diet, eating only a limited range of food. Others may over-eat.