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13 yr old dd bingeing on chocolate and biscuits

(11 Posts)
Juicyfruit50 Tue 01-Mar-16 15:33:34

Hi I'm hoping I might get some great advice as I'm very worried. I have a 13 yr old dd, only child, and I keep finding empty wrappers of chocolate bars, packets of biscuits etc hidden in a drawer in her bedroom. I noticed she was putting on weight recently but as she's growing you put it down to 'normal teenage filling out' however my gut tells me this is not normal. There must be at least 20-30 empty packets in her room over the last week or two, she's eating secretly in her room. We have had this on and off for a few years now but nowhere near this extent and we've tried to keep it lighthearted but I'm now not sure whether to tackle this with her straight on or not? Having read up I realise that she may well be reacting to feeling depressed, anxious etc and I'm not sure of the best way of discussing this with her. I'm also obviously concerned about where she is getting the money from! Husband and I are normal weight, don't diet and eat reasonably healthily and food isn't a massive issue in our house until now it seems. She has had some problems at school which we are dealing with so I figure that perhaps this may be at the root of all this but am very worried! Does anyone else have similar experience of this sort of thing and what did you do? Will she grow out of it or do we need to do something now to help and is discussing it with her the right way to start to tackle this? Lots of things going round in my mind as you can see!

hardheadedwoman Tue 01-Mar-16 20:19:55

I don't have experience but I would definitely talk to her - it sounds like she needs help and it may be related to school

oldbagofsoot Tue 01-Mar-16 21:35:49

I don't have experience of this myself but I do know (from others) that what she is doing is a symptom of how she is feeling. We all like a big ole slab of cake when we feel rubbish but that is A LOT of stuff to be consuming - where is she getting it from?
Eating secretly like that is a symptom of an emotional issue and she is seeking comfort from eating, but probably hating herself esp if she is gaining weight. She'll feel worse about herself which will make her eat more. Something is making her need to eat the sweet stuff in this way and that is what you need to get to the root of.
Does she have a councillor or emotional support worker to talk to?

wavedancer68 Wed 02-Mar-16 13:36:10

Do you as a family eat any of these types of biscuits, chocolate bars, etc or do you never eat this type of treat?

If these treats are never provided at home it might be possible that she has just decided to buy some herself, liked them and got a bit of a taste for it and is eating in secret because she knows you would not approve. I only wonder this because years ago a friend of DD was only allowed healthy food - no sweets, crisps, chocolate bars, fast foods etc, but started to do what your DD is doing because she so wanted to have some just like other children. My own DD didn't have much of that type of treat at the time either but when friend's mum told me what they had experienced I realised that maybe we should have a bit more of a selection of this kind of food too.

If you don't usually have this kind of food could you bring home a bar of chocolate and then share it out between the family - at the same time mention what a treat it is but how unhealthy it is for someone to eat a whole bar day after day!

Of course, if you do have these foods as a treat in the house then perhaps, as others have suggested, there is something else going on that is making her eat all this stuff in secret.

Thewoodenspoon Sat 02-Apr-16 16:27:41

I wondered how you got on talking to your dd juicyfruit.

I am also in a similar situation having discovered stacks of empty packets in my dds room. I am going to have to try and talk to her but I know this won't be easy as she simply bottles up her feelings which is obviously part of the issue.

Has anybody used counselling or cbt to help their teens through this?

jaykay34 Sun 03-Apr-16 08:19:46

I'm also in the same situation with my 13 year old DD.
I think part of the issue is that she meets friends before school and they all go to the shop and buy crisps/chocolate. As she knows that I think there should be a limit on junk food, she then tries to hide the packets down the side of her bed.
I do worry about how much crap she eats though. At the moment she is very willowy so she doesn't think it affects her health.
She gets very angry when confronted about it.

t875 Sun 03-Apr-16 08:45:28

We are going through this with out dd. she also wants to lose weight and we found her to be looking at pro Anna which is a website horrendous website enticing them not to eat which should be banned. We have blocked this website and anything like it.
Our daughter started off like this OP but now she doesn't want to eat at times too.
Check what she is looking at on the computer!! And texts. Our daughter has anxiety now because of what she's going through.
She is having first apt with cahms this week.
Will let you know. X

lilydaisyrose Sun 03-Apr-16 08:50:14

I did this - I still remember the day when my Mum discovered literally hundreds of wrappers stuffed in the lining of my winter coat. I have grown up to be very obese with a BMI in the high 40s. Please help your daughter.

Fleur1975 Wed 06-Apr-16 02:34:00

This was me as a child, and it was a very strong pre-cursor to my binge eating disorder. I'm not saying this is the case with your daughter, but it could be. It's very common in young girls and can distort their relationships with food well into adulthood.

Personally I wouldn't check her computer or texts (that's just my opinion) but I would do some research have a great long chat with her. Alot of the time it's using food as a reward mechanism. You eat when you're happy or sad, then you gain weight and you're sad about it so you eat some more. Nasty cycle.

If you and your husband are both normal weights and have never experienced these issues, now would be the time to do some serious research and then you can have a chat with her about nutrition and be very gentle about it as she's obviously going through something.

Good luck OP!

Divingforpearls Wed 06-Apr-16 05:45:29

My dd was a size 12 at 12, a size 14 at 14, and is now a size 16 at 16. Me and her dad are quite thin, and we eat healthy food as a family; but I find endless biscuit packets / empty jars of nutella in her bedroom, in her bags, in her coat pockets. Every time I have tried to talk to her about it, she accuses me of calling her fat and goes semi-hysterical. What to do? I don't know, but it's so hard to watch her limiting her health like this. Once she went to secondary school. and started being able to go to shops on her own, she started buying junk. I am massively disappointed in her to be honest. It is an incredibly touchy subject, I can't even bring it up with her any more. Devastating, I don't know what to do.

BoxofSnails Wed 06-Apr-16 05:52:10

This was my teenage years too. Mum discovered twice that I remember and all there was was yelling, smacking, judgement. Then, I kept my size 8 figure. Now, I still have food issues and am much, much heavier.

She may need someone else to talk to. Journaling really helped me. Til my mum read it. Help and love will surely go a long way with this.

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