TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - National Eating Disorder Week runs from
February 3-9, 2013, and to coincide with this, Kids Help Phone's
award-winning website is launching brand new content about eating
disorders to help support teens and the people who care about them.
At kidshelpphone.ca, visitors can find out about different types of eating disorders, learn
about some of the reasons why a person may develop an eating disorder,
and how young people can get help for themselves or for a friend.
Eating disorders and body image are often associated with girls, but
boys can be affected, too. That's why Kids Help Phone is asking
everyone - young people and adults alike - to take the time to read and
share kidshelpphone.ca's new eating disorder content.
Why we want to talk about this
At Kids Help Phone, approximately one out of every three counselling
sessions related to mental health in 2012. And on an average day, about
three counselling sessions related to eating disorders.
February 3-9, 2013, is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Prevalence rates of anorexia and bulimia appear to increase during the
transition from adolescence to young adulthood.
Most five year old girls have been found to have ideas about dieting,
and the Nova Scotian study found that 60% of girls in grades 10-12 were
dieting (Urquhart & Mihalynuk, 2011)
Young women account for 95% of eating disorder issues recorded at Kids
Help Phone, with 14 to 16 year olds accounting for almost half of all
eating disorder contacts.
Kids Help Phone's data shows that the months of October, followed by
July, and thirdly, December, are when the service's professional
counsellors are most asked for support regarding eating disorder
4% of boys in grades 9 and 10 reported anabolic steroid use in a 2002
study, showing that body preoccupation and attempts to alter one's body
are issues affecting both men and women.
Body dissatisfaction in young people can be a predictor for later
physical and mental health difficulties, including obesity and the
development of eating disorders. In contrast, body acceptance is
associated with more positive physical and mental health, including
maintaining a healthy weight over time.
What our experts are saying
Help young people to understand that it can take time to adjust to the
changes in their body. If your child expresses dissatisfaction with
their body, let them know that many people have things about their
bodies that they wish they could change. Encourage them to pay
attention to all the things their body lets them do, like moving and
What parents can do
Set a positive example. When you are more accepting of your own body,
you make it easier for your children to accept themselves and their own
bodies as well.
Don't focus on weight, focus on health. Provide your child with a range
of healthy foods and make opportunities for them to engage in enjoyable
physical activity. Trust that the rest will take care of itself.
If your child is involved in sports, talk to their coach, gym teacher,
or teammates. Find out what kind of messages they're getting related to
body image, eating and exercise.
Educate. Encourage young people to learn about the ways that the images
they see can be digitally manipulated and airbrushed. Encourage them
not to compare themselves to the pictures they see in the media.
Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors are available for interviews
to share more expert tips on how to talk to your children about eating
disorders, body image, self-esteem and more.
About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading phone and online counselling service
for youth. It's free, anonymous and confidential. Professional
counsellors are available any time of the day or night, 365 days a
year, to help young people, ages five to 20, deal with concerns large
or small. As a community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone
receives no core government funding and relies on community and
corporate support to fund its essential and vital service.
SOURCE: Kids Help Phone
For further information:
To set up an interview about body image please contact: