10 Steps to Help Professionals Make a Difference in Schools

1. Develop health class curricula about size and shape diversity, eating disorders, disordered eating patterns, body image concerns and why diets don’t work.

2. Plan activities for Eating Disorders Awareness Week — in February of each year.

3. Help students understand advertising ploys that promote body image dissatisfaction and join in efforts against the cultural idealization of thinness.

4. Establish programs that help students recognize and develop “inner” qualities (honesty, kindness, creativity, etc.).

5. Sponsor events for students and parents to hear testimonies of fellow classmates who have chosen the path to recovery.

6. Train students and start peer support groups to help students talk to those whom they suspect might have a body image concern or an eating disorder.

7. Don’t allow school activities which promote weight loss or emphasize appearance.

8. Evaluate your own relationship with food and how well you respect your body (link to Healthy Relationship Quiz).

9. Request copies of the quiz and distribute to students in health classes. Allow opportunities for discussion.

10. Refer students you are concerned about to The Renfrew Center.

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