Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 15, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Eating disorders: Parents can help kids understand body image

I wish to applaud Carrie Dennet’s article, “How to help a college student with an eating disorder” [Health & Fitness, Nov. 9.] As Dennet explains, “An eating disorder isn’t a lifestyle choice or an example of an extreme diet.” It is, in fact, a mental-health condition and a public-health concern.

Thanksgiving break is a great time for families to check in with college students about health topics. It is equally important that we, as a community, implement early prevention measures. Eating disorders have been increasing for decades. What is more disturbing is the young age at which children, especially girls, internalize self-deprecating messages about body size.

Research shows that education about eating disorders decreases their prevalence. In an age of photo editing and models that are t thinner than average people, it is important that we as parents, educators, health providers and media producers educate children about the importance of healthful eating and about the serious risks and consequences of disordered eating.

Young people, in fact children, need intentional mentorship from adults to form their own critical analyses of the numerous digitally enhanced body images they will witness throughout development.

Moreover, youth need explicit help to foster self-confidence in their whole-self identities. Let’s support college students in their health, and let’s weave a positive fabric of self-conception from an early age for our children.

Sarah Fiskness, youth and families Counselor, Seattle

Comments | More in Health | Topics: Carrie Dennet, eating disorders, public health

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►