Turn on the TV, browse social media sites or flick through a
magazine and chances are they will see pictures of perfect
looking celebrities staring back. This might affect your
child's body image and could make them feel bad about
themselves or that they should try to change the way
Many young people who are perfectly normal and healthy
feel that they don't look ‘right’ because they are comparing
themselves to role models such as pop stars, models or
other celebrities who are often seen as skinny. This can
lead to an unhealthy body image. If your child feels that
they are overweight encourage them to talk to you or an
adult they trust. Find out more about healthy eating and
"It’s a good idea to eat well and stay a healthy weight but some young people, can take dieting too far and develop an eating disorder."
The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia
nervosa which is when you starve yourself and bulimia
nervosa which is when you make yourself sick after you eat
or take laxatives, these can be very harmful as a means to
Make sure your child talks to you or an adult or friend they
trust to get the help they need.
If you have an eating disorder:
It's hard to cope with an eating disorder alone -
Encourage them to talk to you or another adult or friend
If they would like to to talk to someone confidentially they
can attend the school nurse drop-in at their school.
Remember that the sooner you get some help, the easier it will be for you to beat your problem.
If a friend has an eating disorder:
Tell them that you’re worried and that you’re there for them.
Get them to see their school nurse or GP.
Set a good example and show your friend how important
it is to have a healthy diet.
Facts about eating disorders:
Eating disorders can be beaten.
An eating disorder is serious.
An eating disorder is not a dieting craze.
An eating disorder is not attention seeking.
An eating disorder is an illness.
"Boys as well as girls can have eating disorders "
Signs of Anorexia include:
- Eating less and less.
- Losing a lot of weight very quickly.
- Growing more body hair (usually girls).
Signs of Bulimia include:
- Eating too much in one go.
- Going to the toilet after eating to be sick.
- Sore throat and mouth infections.
We usually hear about body shaming being directed at
women with curves. But that's not always the case - skinny
shaming can be just as damaging.
This may be a simple comment like ‘when did you last have
a good meal?’ from a friend or perhaps more damaging
messages from strangers via facebook and twitter.
It’s up to all of us to stop the well known stereotype of a
thing called thin shaming. Thin shaming and fat shaming are
not separate, opposing issues - they are the same issue.
We are all equal and all bodies are beautiful. Tell them to
accept themselves and others for who they are and they
will be truly beautiful.
Beat (beating eating disorders)
Parents, teachers or any concerned adults
should call the Beat Adult Helpline (open to
anyone over 18) 0345 634 1414
The Beat Youthline is open to anyone under
25. 0345 634 7650
Text 07786 20 18 20.
If you would like a call back, send the text
message 'call back'. They will aim to get
back to you within 24 hours and during
Youthline open hours.
Anorexia & Bulimia Care
03000 11 12 13
The Mix - Essential support for under 25s
The Mix: 0808 808 4994 - Free information and support for under 25s in the UK. Get advice about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money & jobs.
Parent Helpline 0808 802 5544
Emotional support for children and young
people on issues relating to child abuse,
Men Get Eating Disorders Too
Sutton Child and Adolescent Mental
Health Service (CAMHS)
Jump Start is a free, confidential service,
offering counselling to young people in
Off the record
Face-to-face Counselling for young people in
SkyLine is a free and friendly online
counselling service for young people in