Where can I get help?
If you think a young person may be developing an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to ask them if they are worried about themselves. Quite often young people with eating disorders are unable to acknowledge there may be a problem, and will not want you to interfere and may become angry or upset. Adequate nutrition, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping purging behaviors are the foundations of treatment. Specific forms of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, and medication are effective for many eating disorders. Treatment plans often are tailored to individual needs and may include one or more of the following:
- Individual, group, and/or family psychotherapy
- Medical care and monitoring
- Nutritional counseling
Is prevention possible?
These simple suggestions are useful to help young people to maintain a healthy weight and avoid eating disorders.
- Eat regular meals. Which usually means three main meals and three nutritious snacks in between such as fruit, yogurt or nuts. Too many sugary or high fat snacks should be avoided.
- Try to eat a ‘balanced’ diet. One that contains all the types of food your body needs including carbohydrate foods such as bread, rice, pasta or cereals with every meal.
- Don’t miss meals. Long gaps encourage overeating.
- Exercise regularly.
- Try not to be influenced by other people skipping meals or commenting on weight.
Source The Royal College for Psychiatrists factsheet about eating disorders in young people
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