Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

What should be the focus of any prevention work on eating disorders?

Many risk factors are not modifiable and so they cannot be targets of any health promotion programme. Moreover there is controversy as to the effectiveness of prevention packages which have had eating disorders as their focus as some have appeared to be ineffective (irrelevant to the majority) or dangerous as there is a risk that unhealthy ideas are implanted into vulnerable people. (The popularity of pro-anorexia websites attest to this danger.) Thus, programmes have to be more sophisticated and have a focus on the complex mix of risk and resilience factors. This will include giving information and counselling: to parents about good parenting, to teachers about how to become good role models, and to adolescents directly.

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