The prevention of eating disorders is a relatively young field but one that is gaining momentum. The growing interest in prevention relates to the increased incidence of individuals suffering from eating disorders and the severe complications associated with these disorders. Moreover, eating difficulties and extreme preoccupation with weight and shape, which do not fit the complete diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, occur in even larger numbers.
This text, complete with a variety of prevention strategies, programs, and approaches, is designed for health and mental health workers, educators, researchers, students, and interested members of the community at large who wish to prevent eating disorders and related problems (e.g., negative body image). Building bridges between academic and community-based knowledge and activism, this book describes prevention at the societal, institutional, familial, and individual levels, and focuses on increasing resilience and protective factors as well as reducing the vulnerability to disordered eating.
This text begins with prevention efforts with larger societal institutions and norms (e.g., international social policies and the mass media) and with more circumscribed purveyors of values (e.g., parents). With emphasis on self-concept, relationships, and other developmental challenges, the text continues with an examination of efforts with elementary and middle school children prior to and during the early stages of developing unhealthy attitudes and practices. The developmental needs of high school and college students (including those in athletics and in sororities) are then discussed in terms of programs designed to promote healthy lifestyles and to enhance critical thinking and empowerment. The approaches described in this innovative and informative new text rely on the knowledge derived from careful attention to varied life experiences rather than a limiting clinical sample.
Special challenges for prevention posed by high-risk populations (e.g., elite athletes, ballet dancers, and youth with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) are addressed along with the special challenge faced by professionals (including physicians) working towards early identification of eating disorders. The text concludes with an examination of the key themes and issues in prevention and specific recommendations for future development in the critical field of prevention.
With a strong connection between theory and research, an interesting and useful blend of prevention programs, strategies, and measures, a skilled group of editors and contributors, this book will be of valuable interest to professional and students from various disciplines of health education, mental health, and counseling, as well as teachers, coaches, and school personnel, dietitians, parents and all who care about the prevention of eating disorders.
"The strong connection between theory and research, the broad ranging and innovative examples of preventive intervention programs, and the specific recommendations for research and implementation, combine to make this a valuable resource for professionals and students."
-Ruth Striegel-Moore, Ph.D., Past President, Academy of Eating Disorders
"Building bridges academic and community-based knowledge and activism, this book describes prevention at the societal, institutional, familial, and individual levels, and focuses on increasing resilience and protective factors as well as reducing the vulnerability to appetite disorders."
-CAB ABTRACTS, 2003