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Videos - expert advice

Important insight for parents from Diana Lipson-Burge, R.D.


Parenting tips

What affects your child’s body image?

  • The beliefs your child is raised with about how they should look, appear, and behave

  • The current societal norms about bodies, as depicted in the media or your community

  • How you and others respond to your child’s appearance and any changes it might be going through

  • Their emotions and moods

  • Their hormonal fluctuations

What Are Some Signs of Bad Body Image?

  • Looking in the mirror or weighing one’s self often

  • Excessive body checking (noting the sizes of various parts or comparing these parts to how they “used to” look)

  • Comparing size or shape with others, both in daily life and in the media

  • Making negative comments about one’s own appearance, whether out loud or in one’s head

  • Despair or anxiety about appearance.

How can we model positive body image?

  • Refrain from engaging in self “fat talk”

  • Refrain from body bashing or idealizing, and speak out against it when you encounter it.

  • Avoid weighing yourself in front of your child and commenting on weight loss or gain.

  • Have discussions about the body image messages your child may bereceiving from society and the media.

  • Compliment others on what they can do and who they are, not what they look like.

Blogs from experts and a teen

Our Curated Gallery of National Resources

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Find help and support

The The National Eating Disorders Association’s NEDA Helpline is available Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 9AM to 5PM ET. Contact the Helpline for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one. Call (800) 931-2237. We recommend their Parent Tool Kit featured in the resource section below.

The Eating Disorder Resource Center offers free online support groups to help individuals get control of their body image. Groups are confidential and led by a trained facilitator in a comfortable format where members can gain group support, learn new coping skills, and learn about local resources. Also visit their resource page.

National articles and blogs

National resources and tools

Helping your loved one recover from an eating disorder will take a lot of work from everyone involved. As with many jobs, having the right tools is crucial. Eating disorders have a steep learning curve, and you and your family member will need to develop lots of tools to work towards recovery. (National Eating Disorders Association).

Media messages play a big role in shaping gender norms, ideas about sex, and body satisfaction, from the time kids are in preschool to their adolescence. Common Sense Media's latest research paper Children, Teens, Media, & Body Image (2015) highlights the latest pressures kids are facing and offers helpful tips for parents. (Common Sense Media)


Online videos

Visit the Common Sense Media website body image content for two short videos, on the addresses healthy body image for boys, and one for girls. There you will also find related articles and more videos. (Note: click on either image below to access.)


Recommended books

  • Celebrating Every Body: 20 Body Image Positive Books for Mighty Girls

  • Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary

  • 30 Specific Strategies for Overcoming Emotional Eating by Katie McLaughlin

  • Life Without ED by Jenni Schaefer and Thom Rutledge

  • Goodbye ED, Hello Me by Jenni Schaefer

  • Your Dieting Daughter by Carolyn Costin

  • Dear Ashley: A Fathers Reflection and Letters to His Daughter on Life, Love and Hope by Don Blackwell and Michael E. Berrett

  • Dad’s and Daughters: How to Inspire, Understand, and Support Your Daughter When She’s Growing Up So Fast by Joe Kelly

  • The Ritteroo Journal for Eating Disorders Recovery by Lindsey Hall

  • Talking to Eating Disorders by Jeanne Albronda Heaton, Ph.D.

  • The Rules of "Normal Eating" by Karen R. Koenig

  • Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tibole & Elyse Resch

  • Eating in the Light of the Moon by Anita Johnston