there's no place to hide in a busy school lunch room. and that's a problem for those who suffer from a condition called shy eating. typically what's going on there is they're extraordinarily self-conscious about their weight and they fear that other people would be disgusted about what they eat, so they're embarrassed to.
clinical psychologist mark crawford believes shy eating could be the beginning of serious eating disorders such as anorexia or bolemia. if a child constantly refuses or avoids eating in public, esp. at times when you know they're hungry or it's a meal time, then that could be a warning sign. crawford has some advice for parents of shy-eaters. the first thing is to resist the urge to get into a power struggle. don't try to force them to eat, don't sort of come in in an accusatory way. invite them to talk. talking not just with the parents, but maybe getting professional help as well. for today's health minute, i'm judy ford.