How Do Adults Help Prevent Eating Disorders?
In order to help promote a healthy body image in children, parents can be good role models themselves. Their attitudes and comments about food, body image and weight-related issues impact children greatly.Avoid dividing food into "good/safe" vs. "bad/dangerous" foods.
Talk to your child about natural differences in body types and help the child appreciate his unique, personal attributes.
Take a stand against unhealthy societal messages and educate yourself and others about the unrealistic images in the media. For example, the average weight of a model is 23% lower than that of an average woman. Replace fashion magazines with those that emphasize healthy images.
Help your child separate self-esteem and self-respect from the number on the scale and focus on the person within.
What do you do if you suspect an eating disorder?
Educate yourself about eating disorders by reading books and articles. (Refer to the helpful website links on this website.)
Communicate your concerns with the individual.
Avoid accusatory "you" statements; substitute them with "I" statements, such as "I am concerned about you, because..."
Help facilitate finding professional help, such as checking out www.EDReferral.com.
Usually treatment for eating disorders begins with a multi-disciplinary treatment approach on an outpatient basis.