LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to tell if your child has an eating disorder.

A new study from the journal JAMA Pediatrics, found that 1 in 5 children are now at-risk of developing an eating disorder like bulimia, anorexia, or binge eating. In addition, a new report by Parents.com shows the number of children dieting or complaining about their body — considered “gateway” behaviors to anorexia and bulimia — is rising too.

Many experts believe, and research is now showing that increased time spent on social media is a growing risk factor for disordered eating. Social media use is now being linked with increased body image concerns among boys and girls, but it’s not the entire reason why some kids fall victim to an eating disorder.

Experts say children with eating disorders may exhibit a wide range of symptoms, but more subtle signs include:

*Personality changes, like if you see your kids striving for perfection when it comes to their looks and body

*Behavioral changes, like if you discover your kid starts to obsess over calories, clothing sizes, and their weight

*Physical changes, like rapid weight fluctuations, constipation and digestive problems

If you feel like your child is dealing with an eating disorder, you can do 6 things:

*Listen to them in a nonjudgmental way

*Ask questions and offer support

*If needed, seek out professional help

*Spend more time with your child

*Educate yourself about eating disorders

*Be mindful of the language you use