Eating disorders run in families; talk about it today

Every little girl wants to grow up to be just like mom. But what if mom suffers from anorexia or bulimia? February is National Eating Disorders Awareness Month and it's never been more important than today to talk about disordered eating with your kids.

Research shows that these kind of disorders tend to run in families. If someone in your family suffers from an eating disorder, then you and your loved ones are ten times more likely to have the illness as well. That's a scary statistic, isn't it? That's why, whether you have food issues or not, you need to be aware of this problem.


Talking with your child can be difficult, though. Although I never had an eating disorder, my mother calling me "gordita" as all my life hasn't instilled the best confidence in me. I can understand why children blame mom and why mothers feel they're to blame. Lynn Grege, the president and CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, explains:

"For too many years parents have been blamed for their child's eating disorders. Mothers are always wondering if they shouldn't have said their hips were too big. Now, moms are getting self-conscious about what they're allowed to say, and what they're not. It's become a tricky business."

Fear of confrontation is the biggest problem when it comes to talking with your kids and it's even harder if you've had some food issues yourselves. But at the same time you can't let it stop you from having a frank discussion with your daughters. If you suspect something, there are plenty of resources and access to help at Please take a look and have a heart-to-heart, especially if someone in your family has problems with food.

Have you talked with your children about eating disorders? When do you plan to do it?

Images via Christy McKenna/flickr

Topics: diseases  latino health  mental health  overweight  weight loss  womens health