How to Help A Friend With Eating & Body Image Issues
If you are reading this article, then chances are you're concerned about the eating habits, weight, or body image of someone you care about. If you feel scared or worried about your friend or relative, then it is a very good idea to get some more information and figure out what to do next. Because 90% of the people suffering from eating disorders are female, and 10% are male, this article will frequently refer to your friend as "she."
- Has your friend lost or gained a significant amount of weight recently?
- Does she avoid eating meals or snacks when you are together?
- Does she categorize food into "good foods" or "bad foods"?
- Does she calculate the number of fat grams and calories in each bite?
- Does she talk or worry about her size and shape?
- Does she weigh herself often?
- Does she exercise because she feels like she has to, not because she wants to?
If you answered "yes" to some of these questions, your friend could be struggling with, or on her way to, an eating disorder.
HOW TO HELP YOUR FRIEND
Be honest. Talk openly and honestly about your concerns with the person who is struggling. Talk about specific things you see or feel. Share your memories of two or three specific times when you felt concerned, afraid, or uneasy because of her eating rituals.
Be caring, but be firm. Caring about your friend does not mean being manipulated by her. Your friend must be responsible for her actions and their consequences.
Tell someone. Don't wait until the situation is so severe that your friend's life is in danger.
RESOURCES AT FORT HOOD
- Nutrition Clinic at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, 288-8860. We have dietitians who specialize in treating eating disorders. They'll also help make connections with other professionals who will be an important part of the recovery.
- TMC's or Family Care Clinics can help with medical tests and referrals to appropriate specialists.
www.somethingfishy.org is an excellent web site to explore.
page last modified on: 4/29/2013