There's no guaranteed way to prevent anorexia or other eating disorders. Primary care physicians (pediatricians, family physicians and internists) may be in a good position to identify early indicators of an eating disorder and prevent the development of full-blown illness. They can ask questions about eating habits and satisfaction with appearance during routine medical appointments, for instance.

If you notice a family member or friend with low self-esteem, severe dieting habits and dissatisfaction with appearance, consider talking to him or her about these issues. Although you may not be able to prevent an eating disorder from developing, you can talk about healthier behavior or treatment options.

Jan. 05, 2012

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