Concerned About Daughter’s Calorie Counting

Situation Summary

A father calls “Ask an Expert,” because he is concerned that his 13-year-old daughter counts calories at every meal. He’s also noticed that she checks her appearance every time she walks by a mirror. He’d like a professional to tell him whether this is normal adolescent behavior or the beginning of an eating disorder.

Questions in Need of Answers

I know that girls this age become focused on how they look, but is my daughter’s experience normal or not?

Where do these kids pick up this thinking about calories? Are they being taught this in school?

Is this a phase of her development, and if so, when will she grow out of it?

If she needs to see a professional, what type of professional should we go to?

She’s on the internet a lot. Is that related to this problem?