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What Parents Need to Know About Eating Disorders

Helping End Eating Disorders

Dr. Sacker believes that the biggest misconception parents have is that the eating disorder is about food, when it's really about the difficulty of looking at yourself and seeing yourself.Dr. Ira Sacker, author of Dying to Be Thin, has been treating eating disorders for 25 years. He believes that the biggest misconception parents have is that the eating disorder is about food. What it's really about, he says, is an individual having a difficult time looking at herself and really seeing herself.

What Dr. Sacker tries to do with his patients is to shift their focus away from their body image, and towards something they have a passion about. In Justine's case, he discovered that she loves horses. Dr. Sacker was able to use that passion to direct her attention to a place where she could feel in control of something in her life.

The real issue is self-esteem, according to Dr. Sacker, and it's not just about the child with the eating disorder; it's a family issue. Parents need to understand that giving a child reinforcement about their body is not the answer. Once you reinforce their body image, they don't hear it as positive or negative. The answer lies in shifting the child's focus away from their body image to something they really love.

next: When Your Child is Anorexic
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APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2008, December 22). What Parents Need to Know About Eating Disorders, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/eating-disorders/articles/what-parents-need-to-know-about-eating-disorders

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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