Prevention is defined as interventions that occur before the initial onset of a disorder to prevent the development of the disorder. Prevention relies on reducing the risk factors for eating disorders as well as enhancing the protective factors that promote mental health.

There are three phases of prevention used to describe the point at which efforts are made to prevent further progress: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

Primary prevention aims to prevent the onset of an eating disorder by stopping it from occurring in the first place. Secondary prevention focuses on the detection and treatment of an eating disorder at the earliest possible stage to reduce its duration and severity. Secondary prevention is broadly synonymous with early intervention. Tertiary prevention aims to reduce the impact of an established eating disorder on an individual’s functioning, quality of life, and longevity through treatment and psychosocial supports (RACGP, 2018). 

What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses; they are not a lifestyle choice or a diet gone ‘too far’.
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Preventing Eating Disorders

Click on the following links to find out more about eating disorders and:  Primary Prevention Secondary Prevention Preve…

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Effective communication serves to influence social norms, beliefs and behaviours, and is key to bringing about change.

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Do you need support?

National Helpline

1800 33 4673
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Do No Harm

Care must be taken in promoting information about eating disorders in order to ensure positive outcomes, rather than accidental harm.

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Media Guidelines

Eating disorders are often misunderstood and underestimated in the community, resulting in inaccurate reporting, stereotyping, and the use of language with a potentially harmful impact.

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