This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which is sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Like I said in my post on Weightless, I believe that awareness means spreading accurate information about eating disorders.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that parents cause eating disorders. They don’t!
In fact, many complex factors are involved in predisposing a person to an eating disorder. According to eating disorder specialist Sarah Ravin, Ph.D:
“…the development of an eating disorder is influenced very heavily by genetics, neurobiology, individual personality traits, and co-morbid disorders. Environment clearly plays a role in the development of eating disorders, but environment alone is not sufficient to cause them.”
(Check out her blog post for more.)
But while parents don’t cause eating disorders, they can make a difference in their child’s life by creating a safe, diet-free and nurturing environment.
As Kenneth L. Weiner, M.D., co-founder and CEO of the Eating Recovery Center, said recently:
“Because eating disorders are genetic, an individual who has a family history is much more likely to be sensitive to others’ words and actions surrounding food and body image. It’s important for families to talk about these deadly diseases and avoid behaviors and actions that could act as eating disorder triggers.”
Below Dr. Weiner and other eating disorder specialists from the Eating Recovery Center share some of the ways you can help your child. (I think these tips are relevant for all kids):