'I couldn't stop.' The pandemic is triggering eating disorders in our children
Updated 4:24 PM ET, Fri February 4, 2022
(CNN)Like many girls in high school, Ella (not her real name) had days where she struggled with self-esteem.
"I was able to cope with it because I had sports, I had friends, and I had school. Then the pandemic hit in March (2020) and I lost all of that," said Ella, who looks younger than her 15 years.
"I wanted to do something proactive to help me cope, so I turned to exercise. I'd run almost every day. I went for bike rides and for hour-long walks."
A runner herself, Ella's mom Alice (also not her real name) was pleased to see her daughter embracing such healthy habits during the dreary months of lockdown in their home town of Ottawa, Canada. But it wasn't long before she noticed that if Ella wasn't exercising, she appeared nervous and edgy.
"She couldn't sit down. She could no longer enjoy things like watching a movie because she felt she needed to be active all the time," Alice said.