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For the Parents

One point to keep in mind above all others is that your friend or family member can completely recover. They can become confident, capable, successful people. They can become well!

Common Myths about Eating Disorders

Myth #1: You have to be underweight to have an eating disorder. People with eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Many individuals with eating disorders are of average weight or are overweight.

Myth #2: Only teenage girls and young women are affected by eating disorders. While eating disorders are most common in young women in their teens and early twenties, they are found in men and women of all ages.

Myth #3: People with eating disorders are vain. It's not vanity that drives people with eating disorders to follow extreme diets and obsess over their bodies, but rather an attempt to deal with feelings of shame, anxiety, and powerlessness.

Myth #4: Eating disorders aren't really that dangerous. All eating disorders can lead to irreversible and even life-threatening health problems, such as heart disease, bone loss, stunted growth, infertility, and kidney damage.

Common eating disorder warning signs

What Can Families Do?

Positive Strategies for Parents

Parents can help their daughters by doing the following:

Tips for Parents of a Child with an Eating Disorder

It can be deeply distressing for a parent to know that their child is struggling with an eating disorder. As well as ensuring your child receives the professional help he or she needs, here are some other tips:

Adapted from: National Eating Disorders Association, Dos and Don'ts for Family Members