About Eating Disorders

What You Can Do to Help Prevent Eating Disorders

Prevention of Eating Disorders

Is it possible for us to live in a world without eating disorders? The answer is yes. Despite the fact that eating disorders are extremely complex and prevalent, prevention is possible. We can all make a difference by changing our conversations with friends, family, colleagues, etc. Right now we talk about dieting, losing weight, and what we dislike about our bodies. What if we start eating healthy, maintaining a healthy body weight, and begin to recognize just how beautiful each of our own unique bodies are? We need to replace the negative thoughts about our bodies with appreciation and acceptance. Eating disorders can be deadly, so it’s important for us as a society to not be afraid to talk about them. Recognizing that they are a huge problem and identifying how we can support, love, and encourage the people in our lives that struggle with them is a critical step in preventing eating disorders. We must eliminate the guilt and shame that often precludes people from getting the treatment they need.

Prevention efforts should address:

  • The cultural obsession with physical appearance as a physical, psychological, and moral issue
  • The sometimes-distorted meaning of both femininity and masculinity in today’s society
  • The development of a person’s self-esteem and self-respect
  • Healthy eating habits and how to listen to our bodies
  • How to handle difficult feelings and emotions
  • Knowing who to talk to in case of abuse (parents, school counselor, etc.)