Mom Worries For Her 11-Year-Old Son After He Deprives Himself Of Birthday Cake To Appease His Father

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear frieeeeend, happy birthday to you! Now blow out the candles, make a wish, and cut yourself a slice of that delicious cake!

The cake is arguably one of the best parts of celebrating a birthday. The cherry on top of spending your special day surrounded by loved ones is getting to enjoy your favorite sweet treat and sharing a slice of that deliciousness with all of your friends and family members. Everybody loves a great birthday cake, but especially for kids, it’s usually one of the highlights of the occasion.

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So when one 11-year-old boy recently opted not to eat his birthday cake for fear of disappointing his father, his mom became extremely concerned. Below, you’ll find a story that was recently shared on the True Off My Chest subreddit by a mother who is worried about how her husband has affected her son’s relationship with food.

You’ll also find some of the responses from concerned readers, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article discussing the difficult topic of eating disorders, we recommend reading this story next.

After her 11-year-old son deprived himself of birthday cake as to not disappoint his father, this mom became concerned that her husband’s habits were causing harm

Image source: August de Richelieu (not the actual photo)

Image source: August de Richelieu (not the actual photo)

Image source: millaca1

Everyone deserves to enjoy a slice of cake (or two!) on their birthday. In fact, everyone deserves to enjoy a slice of cake whenever they like. Sure, it might not be ideal to eat cake every single day, but when the mood strikes or you’re celebrating a special occasion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying some cake (or ice cream or pizza or whatever else you prefer). Demonizing certain foods or attaching guilt to them only causes harm and sucks all of the joy out of eating them in the first place, and especially with young and impressionable children, adults should be very mindful of how they talk about food. 

Eating disorders are very serious mental illnesses that anyone is capable of developing at some point in their life. According to Johns Hopkins, the most common ages for eating disorders to start developing are between 12 and 25 years old, but it is possible for them to start even earlier. And while they are more common among girls and women, about 10% of people with eating disorders are actually boys and men. There are a variety of factors that can cause or contribute to an individual developing an eating disorder, including stressors like trauma or illness, Johns Hopkins notes that studies suggest eating disorders can even run in the family.

I’m sure the father mentioned in this post loves his son very much and means no harm, but he could possibly be passing along disordered eating tendencies without even realizing it. When people hear “eating disorder”, they tend to assume that means anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia. But there are a range of eating disorders that can be just as dangerous, including orthorexia nervosa. Orthorexia is an obsession with eating only healthy or “clean” foods, and is often accompanied by an obsession to track or limit foods and exercise compulsively.

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It may sound healthy to eat well and keep active, but it becomes dangerous when it turns into an obsession. Orthorexia may include a fear of fats, oils, sugar, demonizing foods such as cake or other desserts, and over time cutting more and more food groups out of their “acceptable” diet. Orthorexia has become more common in recent years, with the prevalence of online diet culture, and it is estimated to impact between 1-7% of the general population. However, it’s even more common among athletes. 

“Fitness-minded individuals are perhaps the most likely demographic to develop this condition,” The Recovery Village explains on their site. “Focusing on physical fitness and well-being goes hand-in-hand with strict diets that only allow the consumption of nutritious or ‘clean’ foods.”

“Among non-professional athletes, including people who go to the gym regularly, orthorexia occurrence is thought to be around 52%. Individuals who participate in specialized activities that emphasize healthy lifestyles have especially high rates of orthorexia. For example, one study showed that as many as 86% of yoga instructors surveyed showed symptoms of orthorexia.”

While we cannot know for sure if this father or his son have orthorexia, there is no question that the risks of developing it are present. And recovering from an eating disorder is a long and arduous process that no one would wish on their loved ones, especially their children. It’s best to nip any disordered eating habits in the bud to save this child a possible lifetime of struggles. I hope that his mom intervenes now, and by his twelfth birthday, he’s eating a slice of cake without a second thought. We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas, and if you’re interested in reading another article discussing the dangers of eating disorders, look no further than right here

Readers echoed the mom’s concerns, expressing that it might be wise to consult an eating disorder specialist before this behavior escalates

The post Mom Worries For Her 11-Year-Old Son After He Deprives Himself Of Birthday Cake To Appease His Father first appeared on Bored Panda.


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