Stress can spark disordered eating. While the relationship between the two is complex and varies by person, many people turn to food — or away from food — in times of stress. Controlling food intake becomes a way to cope.
In other words, “many people react to stress by under- or over-eating,” according to Jamie Manwaring, PhD, a primary therapist at Eating Recovery Center’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Hospital.
When stress strikes, kids may also seek comfort in bingeing or restricting how much they eat.