Parenting myths you should ignore immediately to prevent eating disorders

As eating disorders and other disordered methods of processing emotions become more prevalent, we must look collectively at our cultural norms and rules that may be contributing to these disorders. Although no disorder is ever a parent's fault, and parents alone cannot prevent all eating disorders, we do have tremendous opportunity to prevent and heal … Continue reading Parenting myths you should ignore immediately to prevent eating disorders

What to do when your child relapses (again) during eating disorder recovery

A lot of parents understandably want their child to recover as quickly as possible from their eating disorder. Full recovery suggests to us that we have done our jobs as parents "correctly" and can now relax with a healthy child. Unfortunately, many parents find themselves frustrated because their child's eating disorder keeps coming back. Just … Continue reading What to do when your child relapses (again) during eating disorder recovery

People Who Have Experienced Trauma and Have an Eating Disorder Require Specialized Treatment Plans, by John Levitt, PhD

Estimates tend to vary, but data suggests that from approximately 68%-98% of people who attend eating disorder treatment programs report histories of sexual, and other, abuse or trauma. This suggests that when we treat eating disorders we need be prepared to treat a potentially underlying trauma history and even, possibly, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). … Continue reading People Who Have Experienced Trauma and Have an Eating Disorder Require Specialized Treatment Plans, by John Levitt, PhD

When your child becomes very, very angry while in recovery from an eating disorder

If your child has an eating disorder like binge eating disorder, bulimia or anorexia, you probably have a lot of questions and a lot of fear about what the eating disorder means, where it came from, and how long it will be until your child is recovered. Almost all parents have done the absolute best … Continue reading When your child becomes very, very angry while in recovery from an eating disorder

Body hate and obsession with appearance are not “normal” teenage behaviors

It is not unusual, when talking about the warning signs of teenage eating disorders, for someone to pipe up and say "that's normal teenage behavior." This comment makes me want to cry. Sure, they may be "normal" if we define normal as common, but when we're talking about body behavior, we must define "normal" as … Continue reading Body hate and obsession with appearance are not “normal” teenage behaviors

parental abuse include hitting, criticizing and shaming

Is the problem with American children that parents are too soft?

The significant majority of people who have eating disorders experienced physical and emotional abuse as children. Most children who are abused receive the abuse from their parents, siblings, and other family members. Childhood abuse includes commonly accepted but still traumatic parenting tactics such as spanking, slapping, criticism and shaming. This is something we must discuss … Continue reading Is the problem with American children that parents are too soft?

What it feels like to get away with your eating disorder in plain sight

Most people who have eating disorders remain undiagnosed and untreated, often for life. This is partly due to the weight stigma that surrounds eating disorders, which means that only those who become "medically underweight" based on BMI standards are recognized as having eating disorders. While a lot of us who are undiagnosed will find our … Continue reading What it feels like to get away with your eating disorder in plain sight

Eating disorders can hide in plain sight when we limit diagnosis to weight and food behaviors

But she doesn’t look like she has an eating disorder! What people need to know about the emotional profile of eating disorders

The popular presentation of eating disorders is an emaciated white girl with haunted eyes, and while there are some people who have eating disorders who fit that profile, they are by far the minority. Only 14.5% of all eating disorders meet the clinical underweight criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, and even those who are clinically underweight … Continue reading But she doesn’t look like she has an eating disorder! What people need to know about the emotional profile of eating disorders

Question: Should I tell my daughter that an outfit is not flattering?

Here's the situation: mom goes shopping with a daughter who is living in a larger body. Daughter tries on clothing that is *not flattering*, and mom wonders how to tell her nicely. Quick tip: don't say anything Our children are living in a disordered eating ecosystem. This means that they are bombarded daily with messages … Continue reading Question: Should I tell my daughter that an outfit is not flattering?

But, seriously, my kid is addicted to sugar. A discussion about sugar addiction with dietitian Marci Evans

It’s really common to hear parents openly discussing their kids’ “addiction” to sugar. As a registered dietitian, how do you respond to the idea that sugar is addictive? Marci: I’ve been carefully watching the science of food addiction for the past six years. Frankly, my interest stems from an instinctual sense of dis-ease about the … Continue reading But, seriously, my kid is addicted to sugar. A discussion about sugar addiction with dietitian Marci Evans