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Preventing Eating Disorders

Abstract: Parents can help their children to avoid future eating disorders by helping them to learn to recognize physical hunger.

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Preventing Eating Disorders

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Question(s): 
Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 16 Aug 2008.

Can eating disorders be prevented?

Answer:

Parents can help children to develop a proper physical hunger. They can help children to recognize their real feelings. For example, children should only be given food when physically hungry. They shouldn't get food as a reward or comfort or be compelled to eat it all up. The parents should avoid everything which misleads children by connecting eating which anything other than physical hunger.

Young girls see super-slim models everywhere in the mass media and are convinced that they should copy them with the result that they start slimming and begin an eating disorders career. The beauty industry should accept its responsibility for some of this and stop using superslim models.

The junk food industry also needs a vigorous clean-up. Putting vitamins in junk food only makes the situation worse by attempting to justify the presence of large amounts of sugar and fat. Uninformed people, especially children and teenagers, are more strongly tempted to damage their health by replacing real food with junk food.

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