We can all help to prevent eating disorders. There are many different ways to bring about powerful and positive changes in your home, workplace, school – anywhere!
Here are a few ideas that you can use today to help prevent eating disorders:
- Take steps to learn more about eating disorders and how to prevent them
- Speak out about the “thin ideal” and the harm it does
- Be a positive role model and choose to live a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle that can inspire others
- Recognize that health and well-being comes in all shapes and sizes
- Become aware of the factors that can cause eating disorders
- Do not engage in fat talk! Change the conversation or remind yourself not to use it
- Start to notice and to question the “thin” messages that we all receive daily from the media and the people around us. Refuse to accept what the media presents as ‘beautiful’
- Talk to both sexes about eating disorders and unhealthy attitudes or activities
- Help others to develop self-esteem based on qualities other than physical appearance
- Get rid of your scale! Numbers can be deceiving. Listen to your body
- Avoid calling a food “good” or “bad.” Food is just food
- Teach others that their self-worth is not related to how they look
- Get rid of your diet!
- Criticize the culture that promotes unhealthy body image. Do not criticize yourself.
- Be aware of advertising, toys, television shows, or even clothing store ads which only show an ‘ideal’ body shape
- Help parents and teachers to think about their own attitudes. Their behaviour, language, eating and physical activities influence children immensely.
- Make time and space for meals at school or the workplace
- Empower others to feel good about themselves for who they are, not how they look
- Promote understanding of the natural gain in weight that happens during puberty
- Encourage self-awareness and critical thinking skills
- Provide others with alternative images of healthy bodies
- Families can nurture healthy eating habits and encourage children to have positive relationships with food: From managing picky eating at mealtimes and taking the pressure off everyone, to promoting a positive body image, parents and caregivers will find practical tips and resources on the Kelty Mental Health website to eating well.
See the links and resources below to learn more about other organizations that are passionate about preventing eating disorders:
Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves! A movement by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign
Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves has activities and events that take place all year round. This is a province-wide effort to raise awareness about prevention and early intervention of eating disorders. It also focuses on building healthy body images and self- esteem and rejecting harmful messages in the media. PEDAW’s goal is to provide services, workshops, education, and support to people of all ages in BC. We encourage everyone to start discussions and activities at your school, your family or your work place. FREE resources are available to support you in participating! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention & Awareness Program
Jessie’s program provides education, resources and support to prevent eating disorders. This program supports BC youth, families, educators and professionals through online resources, live events, social media, and the Love Our Bodies, Love Ourselves movement. For more information, go to jessieslegacy.com.
The Looking Glass Foundation for Eating Disorders
This caring community works to prevent eating disorders and to support those that are suffering from these devastating illnesses – and those who love them. The Looking Glass Foundation develops and supports new approaches that will fill gaps in services and create pathways between treatment options — so that those affected by eating disorders are never without support. For more information, go to lookingglassbc.com.