When a child is diagnosed with an eating disorder, it’s not uncommon for parents to feel as if they are to blame. Or as if their child is weak-willed and therefore to blame. Or as if their child’s friends are to blame.

But the largest contributor to eating disorder development is most likely the society in which we live. It surrounds us – everything we do, say and think is, on some level, in alignment with societal norms. The most dangerous part about this is that we don’t realize that society drives the way we think – we believe we are in full control of our ideas.

Marketers and advertisers have known for centuries how to tap into our societal insecurities and beliefs in order to get individuals to buy what they are selling, and eating disorders are a byproduct of many of the messages our society intrinsically believes – even when they have been proven factually wrong.

As parents, we must maintain attention on the societal factors that drive our children, ourselves, our families and our communities.

Articles about society and eating disorders