Eating Disorders Awareness
Eating Disorder Awareness Week is a very important week of the year to bring light and awareness to a condition that affects more people than you realize. Eating disorders are serious conditions that everyone should be aware of and as parents there are things that you need to know to look out for and how you can be an active role model for your child in body image and healthy eating. What eating disorders are: Eating disorders are conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and mental health. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are the most common types of eating disorders and are unfortunately conditions many people have to deal with everyday. And while proper treatment can be highly effective for many suffering from specific types of eating disorders, the consequences of eating disorders can be severe. What parents should be doing: Parents should be a healthy role model for their child by being aware of the words they use; words like “fat”, “diet”, etc. Parents should in no way engage in fat shaming. No fat shaming of other people and no fat shaming of your own body. As a role model for your child, you should never put too much emphasis, stress, and worry on your body, especially when it comes to the topic of weight. You should aim for healthful eating, referring body health to your kids as something that comes from the inside and not from the outside appearance. You also shouldn’t reinforce behaviors with food, everything in moderation.
- Be aware of words you use
- No fat shaming
- Never put too much emphasis on your own body
- Aim for healthful eating
- A healthy body is from the inside not the outside
- Don’t reinforce behaviors with food
What parents should be looking out for: If you see any signs of rapid weight loss or restricted eating, getting up to go to the bathroom after every meal, over eating or hiding food to eat it in private, it is important to consult and contact a mental health specialist in eating disorders.
- Signs of rapid weight loss
- Restricted eating
- Getting up to go to the bathroom after every meal
- Hiding food
Eating disorders are something that children, parents, and all people should be aware of. Eating healthy and having a good mental and physical health balance is important for the entire family. As parents you should strive to show your children that it’s not about being thin, it’s about being healthy. Be your child’s number one role model and keep in mind all these tips when making food, going out to eat, talking about body image, exercising and more with your children.