How can eating disorders be prevented

The ultimate goal of prevention is to eliminate an individual's restrictive eating behaviour.

Prevention includes:

  • Valuing the person
  • Educating yourself about your own weight
  • Re-evaluating your own beliefs
  • Discouraging caloric restriction
  • Valuing pleasure in activities and food
  • Avoiding remarks about appearance and body shape
  • Being wary of media-propagated myths
  • Encouraging children not to focus on their appearance
  • Keeping a food journal to ensure good routines
  • Improving the knowledge of teachers and professionals who work in the health field
  • Dividing daily caloric intake between 3 or 4 meals and eating meals at regular times

What should I do if someone I know is anorexic or bulimic?

  • Get information and share it
  • Express your concern, but do not try to control the person
  • Do not be surprised if the person denies the problem
  • Encourage the anorexic or bulimic person to consult a professional. Insist if necessary
  • Avoid discussions about food
  • Do not blame the person
  • Be careful not to make comparisons: An ED sufferer's self-esteem is sometimes fragile
  • Show empathy: Avoid comments about appearance and behaviour
  • Avoid threatening or frightening the person
  • Encourage the person to participate in activities unrelated to food
  • Let go once the person is in therapy
  • Be patient: The duration of the illness can be long and it is unrealistic to hope for an instant recovery
  • Get help for yourself: Look for support from your family, your friends or a professional

[Eating Disorders: what are they?] [Eating Disorders: causes and symptoms] [Eating Disorders: treatments] [Eating Disorders: advice for the family]