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Mom Squad: Recognizing eating disorders in teens

After a bombshell report on how Facebook allegedly ignored data showing Instagram could be harmful to teens, parents are wondering how to recognize red flags.

CLEVELAND — An investigation is now underway by several states, looking into the bombshell information alleging that Facebook knew their social media platforms were harmful to teens. Most specifically: Instagram leading to eating disorders in teenage girls.

In this week's Mom Squad Pod, Maureen Kyle talks to Jillian Lampert with the Emily Program about the trends she's seeing with eating disorders.

The Emily Program is a national leader in eating disorders and treatment for people of all ages. Lampert says the pandemic lead to a boom in calls coming into their center in Cleveland.

“We had this situation where we were really isolated. We're all sort of home in our own spaces and not connecting to people that we love and care for and that support us in the same kind of way,” says Lampert.

And then there’s the social media factor. For many people, social media was the way of seeing our friends and family and connecting to the outside world.

“The social media messaging around weight and appearance really kicked it up a notch. And because we were in this like, ‘Oh no it's a pandemic, we're home, our routines are changing, let's not gain weight. Let's not have our weight change.’ So, there was also this huge flood about weight and appearance and weight stigma and dieting and home activities that really kind of collided.”

Lampert describes teenage years as the “perfect storm” of kids figuring out their world, their bodies, maturity and comparing themselves to what they see around them.

In the podcast, listen to how she advises parents to talk to teens and also recognize signs that your child (or loved one) may be struggling with an eating disorder or body image issues.

You can download the Mom Squad Pod anywhere you get your podcasts.

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