Parents and Prevention


  • Examine your own beliefs and behaviors related to body image and weight, and consider how your children might interpret the messages they get from you. (Are you constantly dieting and or talking about food? If so, stop it immediately. Try not to fall into “Do as I say, not as I do.”)

  • Encourage healthy eating & exercise by serving nutritious and balanced meals.

  • Keep a balance—there is no “bad” food or “good” food.

  • Trust your body to let you know when to eat and when to stop: Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.

  • Allow your child to determine when he or she is full

  • Talk about different body types, and the fact that they can all be acceptable.

  • When the topic is brought up by your child, discuss the dangers of dieting, food restriction and overeating.

  • Emphasize to your child that what you see in the media is not real and that the media should not define their potential or self worth.

  • Make meals a positive experience, not a negative one.

  • Tell your child you love them and stay away from praising the way they look. (After all, they love you for who you are and not how you look.)



  • Label foods as “good” or “bad”Use food for rewards or punishments

  • Diet or encourage your child to diet

  • Comment on weight or body types. (Yours, your child’s, or anyone else’s)

  • Allow teasing or making fun of anyone based on physical characteristics, including size.

  • Don’t base one’s worth on what they look like, including the clothes that a person wears.

  • Don’t make meal times about food; make them about enjoying the whole experience.

Did you know?

The 5 Primary Contributors to Eating Disorders are:


  1. Genetics

  2. Interpersonal Environment

  3. Media (Television, billboards, etc.)

  4. Trauma or various life changes

  5. Society