From the Web site: www.healthywithin.com
Do not show movies of persons with eating disorders, even though the movie may show them dying. The majority of people with eating disorders will tell you that they learned their tricks on what to do from the movies. They are imitating the steps the person took in the movies. Most people who develop anorexia or bulimia will say they knew the purpose of the movie was to deter them from developing an eating disorder. They just left with a brand-new way to lose weight they had never thought of before. If you are showing movies as part of the health curriculum, STOP NOW!
The Nova film, "Dying to be Thin." has had similar effects with students. The images of emaciated women are triggering girls to want to be that thin. It is NOT an appropriate tool.
Show students the video "Body Talk," made by Body Positive, or "Killing Us Softly 3," by Jean Kilbourne. It teaches kids about being able to express their body image issues and resist media messages.
DO NOT MEASURE A CHILD'S BODY FAT WITH CALIPERS. This alone has triggered thousands of eating disorders. Children are too vulnerable to be put through a grueling, humiliating exam that reveals to them a number upon which they can obsess on, and a number that gives them their esteem.
Questions to Consider?
- Does she seem tired and lack vitality?
- Does she get depressed and angry for no apparent reason?
- Do you feel as though you never see her eating?
- Is she losing weight and is defensive about it?
- Has your daughter become a vegetarian and/or otherwise avoid specific foods?
- Is your daughter almost illogical and paranoid about eating certain foods?
- Does she take showers after meals?
- Have there been signs of vomiting, although she never said anything about being ill?
- Are there any signs of enema or laxative abuse?
- Does she seem to feel cold all the time?
- Is her hair falling out and showing up on her hairbrush or in the shower?
- Does your daughter obsess over what others eat and does she want to cook for, bake for, and feed others?
- Is she preoccupied with or does she obsess over pictures of thin people?
- Does she obsessively weigh herself, panicking at your suggestion of taking the scale away?
- Does her diet contain an excessive amount of gum, coffee, diet soda, mustard, spices, and other non-calorie items?
- Has she become a calorie computer?
- Is she steadily gaining weight?
- Does she always want and/or use food as a reward?
- Has she had temper tantrums over food not being "just right"?
- Have you seen her with bloodshot eyes and burst blood vessels (from vomiting)?
- Has she had an increased number of cavities and/or discoloration of the teeth?
*Source: Your Dieting Daughter by Carolyn Costin, MFT, 1997. Carolyn Costin is the director of the Monte Nido Treatment Center and the Eating Disorder Center of CA, for more information visit her Web sites at www.montenido.com and www.edcca.com.