Playfield Institute




Eating too much

Things to think about


  • Eating and drinking an adequate amount is essential for human growth and survival. A balanced diet is essential for the promotion of both physical health and emotional well being. 



  • Childhood obesity is currently a major concern. Many children and young people eat and drink too much high-calorie food and drink, and don't do enough physical exercise.


  • A change in a child or young person's pattern of eating is likely to be a passing phase.
    However, in a minority of cases the pattern may persist and start to become harmful.  It is important to help these children and young people as early as possible.

Emotional problems

Being overweight or obese


As well as the impact on physical health, being overweight or obese may have an impact on a child or young person's emotional wellbeing.


In Fife, support for children and young people's healthy weight is available through NHS Fife's BEST Programme.

Emotional overeating


It is normal to occasionally use food as a reward or to help you feel better. However, if this is happening regularly or is the only method a child or young person uses to improve their mood, this may become a problem.


More information on emotional overeating is given on the Beat website at:

Who to contact if you're still concerned that a child or young person is overweight, obese or emotionally overeating


If you are a parent or carer, please contact your health visitor, school nurse or GP.


If you are a professional, please contact a health professional.


Warning signs of an eating disorder


Overeating is linked to certain eating disorders.  The NHS Choices website outlines some signs that might indicate that someone has an eating disorder:


  • spending a lot of time worrying about weight and body shape
  • avoiding socialising when food may be involved
  • deliberately making themselves sick or taking laxatives after eating
  • exercising too much
  • having very strict habits or routines around food
  • changes in mood.


More signs to be aware of, in an educational setting, are outlined by Beat at:

Binge Eating Disorder


This is when someone regularly eats a large amount of food in one go (a binge), then feels regret or guilt about it.

More information at:




This is when someone regularly binges and then tries to compensate for the food they have eaten (through vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise) so they don't put any weight on.

More information at:


Who to contact if you are concerned that a child or young person may have Binge Eating Disorder or Bulimia

If you are a parent or carer, please contact your GP.


If you are a professional:

  • To consult with the Primary Mental Health Workers for advice about a child or young person in Fife, please phone 01334 696019 or 01334 696234
  • To refer to Fife CAMHS, please go to:

Supporting someone with an eating disorder


CARED Scotland (NHS Lothian) is for parents and carers of young people (aged up to 25) in Scotland who have recently received a diagnosis of an eating disorder, and are about to start or have just started treatment: