ED Help

Do you need to
speak to someone
urgently?
Find help now

 

How to make prevention programs effective

teenage boy

Research has shown that the most effective eating disorder prevention programs:

  • Use a health promotion approach, focusing on building self-esteem, positive body image and a balanced approach to nutrition and physical activity
  • Utilise interactive approaches, as young people may learn more this way
  • Develop social and relational practices that incorporate the person’s support network
  • Are based on a theoretical or clinical understanding of how a risk factor, such as poor body image, can lead to an eating disorder; and how protective factors, such as high self-esteem and coping skills, can reduce risk of an eating disorder
  • Use developmentally appropriate materials
  • Are socio-culturally relevant to the target audience
  • Focus on strengthening protective factors
  • Follow a multi-session structure, allowing for both direct experience and time between sessions for reflection (this is necessary to reinforce learning)
  • Include a long-term follow-up; just as discussions about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol or drugs do not end after the initial program, discussions about healthy eating, cultural values and prejudices towards eating illnesses and obesity should be ongoing

Topics for a successful prevention program for children and young adults may include:

  • Media literacy and advocacy
  • Promoting a balanced approach to nutrition and physical activity
  • Challenging the societal pressures to be thin and emphasising the negative outcomes of pursuing the thin or muscular ideal
  • Personal identity and self-esteem
  • Coping skills
     
 

Get Help.

The National Helpline provides free, confidential support for anyone.

phone now national support line  Phone 1800 33 4673.

NEDC Logo White background
 

Find resources for:

information for carers   information for health professionals

information for schools    information for sport and fitness professionals

 

eating disorders 101

Get Info.

NEDC have developed a new resource to help young people through eating disorders.

Visit eatingdisordersinfo.org.au.

 

becoming an NEDC member

Get Involved.

Join a community of people with expertise or an interest in eating disorders

Become an NEDC member.