Playfield Institute




Not eating enough

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. 



  • It is not unusual for young people to diet, or to consider dieting, at some point during adolescence.


  • 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.


Warning signs of anorexia


Anorexia is where people try to keep their weight as low as possible by limiting what they eat and/or doing too much exercise. People with Anorexia often think they are overweight even when they are very underweight.


The NHS Choices website outlines some warning signs that might indicate that someone has Anorexia:

  • dramatic weight loss
  • lying about how much and when they've eaten, or how much they weigh
  • avoiding eating with others
  • cutting their food into small pieces or eating very slowly to disguise how little they are eating
  • trying to hide how thin they are by wearing loose or baggy clothes.

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


More information about Anorexia is provided by Beat at:

Who to contact if you are concerned that a child or young person may have Anorexia

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: