Infants eat almost everything that is offered to them

But it can be a very useful addition." This is how Lea Gericke, who wrote a book about her experiences, sees it: "We don’t offer medical help, but our own experience. Everyone can tell, but doesn’t have to. There are no constraints, just a safe space where everyone understands you."

Daniela Dittmann was able to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" win 32,000 euros on Monday evening. However, the educator had already faced a much greater challenge than Günther Jauch’s questions. She suffered from anorexia for years and almost died from the disease.

In 2002, at the age of 18, she began to drastically reduce her weight. She starved herself down to 29 kilos. "I collapsed every day. I couldn’t really do anything but breathe", she described her situation at the time.

The doctor gave her little chance of survival

However, she did not feel too thin. Even if two of her friends died of anorexia. After all, she was hospitalized as an emergency. The doctor present gave her little chance of survival and said to her mother: "It won’t work anymore."

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Her mother then burst into tears, said Daniela Dittmann. And then it clicked with her. That was the turning point for her "Then, over the next ten months, I gained 25 pounds"she said. She now has a normal weight. "And I am happy"said Dittmann. She is now giving lectures on the disease in schools.

What is presented as reality on platforms like Instagram and TikTok is often more of a dream world. This can be dangerous for young users – especially if the idols are more than just slim.

Once was the keyword "Pro Ana", it is now "Skinny check!": Every now and then, pictures and videos of extremely thin or even anorexic people appear in social networks. Not as a warning, but in an expressly positive context, aesthetically staged as an ideal. What does that do to the often young users of platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Youtube?

"We cannot say: "Because these images are on TikTok, there will be more anorexics soon"says Kristin Langer from the initiative "Look at! What your child does with Media". However, that does not mean that the pictures and videos have no effect. "It is suggested that this is socially accepted", explains Langer.

A wrong picture of reality

This can be particularly dangerous for younger teenagers, who are already in a development phase, who deal a lot with physicality and body image – and who are often dissatisfied with themselves. "Media images can be a trigger to change one’s own behavior"says Langer.

In this context, it is not only the positive images of anorexics that are problematic. The often lavishly staged images of healthy, slim influencers also have an effect – just like TV programs like "Germany’s Next Topmodel". "This constant pursuit of the perfect body can have an effect on young people – especially if they then compare it with their own body and their own, perhaps not particularly exciting, life"said the expert.

Parents need to be ready to talk

In such cases, it is the parent’s task to take on the role of the corrective or the opposite pole, advises Langer: "The important thing is not to dismiss it or make it look ridiculous." Because that only further unsettles teenagers.

At the same time, parents should definitely say how they find something and why they don’t like some pictures. And to do this, they can provide context or offer to talk: what is anorexia, what are the fates behind the pictures? How much work and staging is behind an influencer account, what is really real? And why are there trends like that "Skinny check"? What do beautiful bodies look like to us?

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And of course parents shouldn’t leave their children alone with platforms like TikTok or Instagram. Above all, however, it is about making adolescents strong, says Langer – for example by talking to them about what they are good at. "To grow up healthily, children need to be able to avoid feeling bad all the time."

Sources used: dpa news agency

She had lost a lot of weight because of an illness. Now Cathy Hummels has recovered and is about to pick up again. She gives an intermediate result that makes her satisfied. 

The love of Cathy and Mats Hummels
Photo series with 16 pictures

Model and influencer Cathy Hummels regularly keeps her followers up to date with private insights. She also addresses her weight on Instagram. The 32-year-old had lost a lot of weight in the past few months and sometimes looked very fragile. Many fans worried about their health.

The wife of soccer star Mats Hummels explained: She actually did not lose weight completely voluntarily. She lived in Thailand for four weeks for a TV production. The hygienic conditions and also the stress from the shoot put her on. She picked up. Then there was a germ in her body that also curbed her appetite.

She is on the mend

She’s fine now. According to the latest posting, even "very good". "Three kilos are on again"the model is happy. A few weeks ago, the young mother revealed that she had felt more comfortable even with a few pounds more. Now she is on her way again. 


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A post shared by Cathy Hummels (@cathyhummels)

The fan community is divided under her picture. Many make fun of Cathy Hummels, mock her. Others express themselves positively, encourage them and protect them. A user writes: "You radiate a lot more health again. Nice to see you’re getting better."

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Cathy Hummels has often been a victim of hatred on the net: Whether body shaming, insults or provocations – all of this pounds on her again and again. But she tries not to be intimidated and encourages others to stand by their bodies.

Sources used: Instagram: Cathy Hummels

Eating disorders exist at all ages. Even children can exhibit inharmonious behavior towards eating or certain foods. But in addition to overeating and too little food intake, there are also behavior at lunch, breakfast or dinner that is also included in the disease "Eating Disorder ”falls.

What are Unknown Eating Disorders?

Disturbed eating behavior is more common – children in particular are increasingly suffering from this mental disorder. But in addition to anorexia nervosa, bulimia (bulimia nervosa) and binge eating disorders with loss of control, there are also forms of behavior that are not recognizable as illnesses at first glance. Often missing "typical “signals like refusal to eat or vomiting. These eating disorders are having "”Unspecified eating disorders” and have the following behavioral patterns:

Despite symptoms of anorexia and significant weight loss, body weight is normal. Bulimic attacks and binge eating occur at intervals, for example twice a week or monthly. Despite normal weight, inappropriate diets are followed. Regular binge eating without vomiting or the like. BMI Calculator For Kids – Is Your Child Too Fat Or Too Thin?

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Is your child too fat or too thin?

What else counts as a disordered eating behavior?

There are a variety of symptoms that indicate different eating disorders. As more and more new signs of disease emerge, there are also increasing refinements in the diagnosis or new sub-forms of eating disorders.

Chew and spit

With the disordered eating behavior called "chewing and spitting “the children ingest the food, chew it and then spit it out again. The chewed pulp is not swallowed. The behavior is a special form of bulimia nervosa.

Symptoms can include

bad teeth swollen salivary glands underweight malnutrition


Little child complains while eating – is that an eating disorder? (Symbolic picture) (Source: zlikovec / Thinkstock by Getty-Images)

Nocturnal binge eating

If your child eats little all day, but keeps their tummy full of food after dinner, it may be night eating syndrome (NES). Experts speak of this eating disorder, especially when more than a quarter of the calories are consumed late in the evening or at night.

Other, well-known signs are

Skipping breakfast or lunch, depression or mood swings, insomnia, fight over food

"In principle, there is no harm in a child going to bed with less food. Sleeping is then also very possible and eating can also be done the next morning "to be rescheduled"explains Dr. med. Hartmut Imgart, specialist in child, youth, adult and family therapy at the Parkland Clinic.

Just healthy food

Actually, children cannot keep their hands off sweets – the exception are children with orthorexia nervosa. Here people are forced to eat only healthy food. The focus is on the quality of the food:

Healthy food that is homemade and rich in vitamins and nutrients.

Ready meals are avoided. Eating in company is also difficult or even avoided.

Other symptoms can include:

Fatigue Difficulty concentratingDepression Obesity Deficiency symptoms (vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency) Psychological stress Loss of control

However, this behavior often occurs in young adulthood and is associated with anorexia.

Food and exercise

The so-called sports bulimia (exercise bulimia) and sports anorexia (anorexia athletica) are characterized by excessive physical activity. Sports bulimia and sports anorexia are accompanied by refusal to eat or vomiting, the use of laxatives or binge eating, depending on the eating disorder.

The following signs are seen in children with this condition:

Inner restlessness, urge to move, aggression and irritability when sport is not possible, other signs of an eating disorder, physical exercises are carried out despite illness or injury, moving beyond the physical limit, sporting activity comes before social contact, sleep and the like

Fear of something new

Children are considered curious. This often doesn’t stop with eating. But with eating neophobia, children are afraid of new, unknown foods.

This phase is normal between the ages of two and five, but if the little ones continue to show such fear behavior towards new foods, it can be an eating disorder. At first glance, this disease is not visible as the offspring eats enough food and does not lose or gain enormous weight.

"The fear of trying new foods seems to be an innate sensible disposition to protect the children who are re-exploring the world from being poisoned by foreign foods"explains Dr. med. Hartmut Imgart, chief physician and for psychotherapeutic medicine and psychotherapy. "Infants eat almost everything that is offered to them. From running age to kindergarten age, tolerance for new foods decreases. The children "complain “more and more about the food and prefer to only eat the same thing. It is not until school age that the willingness to try out new foods spontaneously grows again."

If your child is avoiding sweets, it may be an eating disorder (Source: ipekata / Thinkstock by Getty-Images)

When do the eating disorders occur?

Imgart explains that the diseases in particular often only appear at the onset of puberty. Nevertheless, in exceptional cases, younger children can also suffer from this.

Eating disorders can be fatal

Eating disorders can cause enormous damage to organs. However, the side effects are not immediately apparent. Only in the teenage years or as an adult can the long-term effects have a severe health and mental impact on those affected.

What can parents do?

"Whenever the choice of food results in weight loss or diet-related deficiency symptoms, there is a need for action," explains Imgart.

Parents shouldn’t force their children to eat. Compulsive behavior usually has deeper, psychological reasons. The disturbed eating behavior is often just an expression or a behavior pattern. This can be due to a lack of self-esteem or a lack of body awareness, loss of control when dealing with certain emotions or a lack of understanding or excessive demands.