One thing you can do about adolescent eating disorders
- From 1999 to 2006, the hospitalization rate for children under 12 with eating disorders went up 119 percent
- Boys now make up 10 percent of all cases of eating disorders among adolescents
- 0.5 percent of adolescent girls in America have anorexia
- 1 to 2 percent of adolescents meet the criteria for having bulimia nervosa
There is something so powerful about the accountability of committing to come to the table most nights that works. My family members know that every day, they are going to have to reconnect with me. Family dinner acts as a motivator, a deterrent, and a safety net. Because we interact with one another every night, no one can get too upset, depressed, or confused without someone in the family noticing. And that gives us all the chance to help and be helped when we need it.
Family dinners won’t assure your children don’t develop eating disorders, but they can help deter them. And, if one of your children does develop an eating disorder (or other serious problem), the family dinner table might just be the place where the problem gets noticed and help begins.
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