Eating disorders: Thanksgiving a challenge

Nov. 25, 2009 at 1:34 AM
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DEL MAR, Calif., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Thanksgiving can provide special challenges for people with eating disorders, a U.S. education and treatment referral service says.

Christine Hartline, director of, advises family and friends of those with eating disorders not to focus on body image. Comments about weight should be avoided. Instead consider compliments such as, "You look healthy and happy!"

Hartline also suggests family and friends:

-- Don't watch what others eat. If someone wants to eat more or less than you during the holidays, do not make that the focus of your concern. If you tell others to eat more or less, you are adding pressure to those who are already struggling with eating issues.

-- Thanksgiving is a day of eating. If a person has eating issues, then understand Thanksgiving is the most difficult day of the year.

For those with eating disorders Hartline suggests:

-- Setting your own eating boundaries and do not allow the comments or expectations of others to change what is comfortable for you. If you give yourself the freedom to say "no" to others who are trying to get you to eat more, then you can feel good about not letting others push you out of your comfort zone.

-- Allowing yourself the freedom to have some stress and not react perfectly, especially during the most difficult holiday for people with eating issues.

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