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It’s much easier to prevent an eating disorder then cure one. Once an eating disorder develops it can take many years, if ever to cure. Most of the prevention can be done at home. Your actions speak louder than words.

Consider how you feel about food. Are you always on a diet? Do you categorize food as good and bad? Do you criticize people who are over weight? All of these actions send messages to our children. Unfortunately they say, rather loudly, that being over weight is not to be tolerated. You need to start to get comfortable with your own body, so you can help your children feel comfortable with theirs. After all, people are more then just their appearance. They have talents, abilities, values, goals and dreams, just like you.

Try and make eating an enjoyable experience. Encourage normal eating, but do not forbid certain food. This just makes them all that more desirable. Try and vary the types of foods you serve. Use all the food groups on a regular basis to maintain a healthy diet.

If you are a male, watch what you say. Don’t criticize anyone’s appearance, especially women and children. Teenage girls are especially sensitive about their weight. Even an off the cuff remark meant in jest can hurt deeply. It’s the words we say without thinking that seem to stay with us the longest. Encourage you child to be an independent thinker and let them know it’s OK to be different. No matter how much we try to be alike, we are all different.

Our educators also need to become more aware of how to prevent eating disorders from developing. There can be many negative pressures in school. Our teachers need to know how much they affect a child's self-esteem. A negative comment from a teacher can be very devestating, especially if it is heard by others.

If you are struggling with some of these suggestions, you may want to seek some help from a professional. Increasing your own self-esteem can only have a positive effect on you child and one your own life as a whole.