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Listed below are articles written by Doctors, Therapists, Nutritionists, and others who have worked in the field related to Eating Disorders Awareness and Treatment. If you have an article you'd like to submit, please contact us to make arrangements to place it on the site with proper credit and referring information.

Tips for Parents: Recognition and Prevention

by: Abigail Natenshon, MA LCSW, BCD

Be aware of what can happen to the body as a product of starvation, nutrition deprivation and purging. It could help you begin to recognize symptoms of an eating disorder in your child.

  • Hair can stop growing and even fall out.
  • Severe fasting or exercising can cause muscles to deteriorate.
  • Bone loss.
  • The body can become abnormally cold, and in an effort to keep warm, fine hair can grow all over the body, even on the face and stomach.
  • Reproductive functions can completely shut down, and periods can become irregular or stop altogether.
  • Excessive vomiting or laxative abuse can lead to cardiac arrest.
  • Purging causes chronic sore throats and eye vessels may burst.
  • Research shows that 1,000 girls die every year from eating disorders.

Abigail Natenshon, author of When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder, says there are seven specific ways parents can help prevent eating disorders and help your daughters appreciate their bodies:

  1. Minimize diet and weight talk.
  2. Connect during meal times with your child.
  3. Don't equate thinness with happiness.
  4. Praise your daughter for what she does, not how she looks.
  5. Discourage extreme or obsessive behavior of any kind.
  6. Ask your daughter to make a list of her positive attributes not related to her body or appearance.
  7. Help her become a good problem solver.

Abigail H. Natenshon, MA LCSW, BCD is a recognized psychotherapist, author and speaker with 28 years of expertise in the treatment of eating disorders with individuals, families and groups. Ms. Natenshon contends that though not the cause of their child�s illness, parents are the best line of defense against eating disorders as advocates of prevention and recovery.

For more information about Abigail Natenshon, visit:

©2001 Abigail Natenshon. Reprinted with Permission.

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