Helping Someone With Eating or Body Image Concerns

Tips for family and friends of those with eating disorders (diagnosed or suspected):


* Learn as much as you can about eating disorders.

* Find an appropriate time and place to talk to the person in private.

* Be honest, communicate your concerns using "I Statements" about behaviors you have personally observed (e.g. "I notice you never go out to eat with us anymore," NOT "You aren't eating enough.").

* Be caring but firm.

* Stress the importance of professional help.

* Express your continued support.

* Validate the person's feelings, struggles, and accomplishments.


* Don't be afraid to approach the person.

* Don't engage in a power struggle or try to control the person's eating.

* Don't attempt to solve or "fix" their problem.

* Don't comment on calorie/food intake, weight, appearance, etc.

* Don't promise to keep it a secret.

* Don't expect to do this perfectly.