Eating disorders are a complex mix of several factors influenced by your environment, friends, and family. Because of this, there are no guidelines to prevent an eating disorder. However, having healthy attitudes toward food and your body can help with your awareness and self-esteem.

The following steps can help you develop such healthy attitudes:

    
  • Maintain a healthy weight and body image.
  • Maintain a rational approach to dieting, food, and exercise.
  • Seek help if needed.
  • Maintain a Rational Approach to Dieting, Food, and Exercise

    Do not diet, even if you need to lose weight. Rather, you need a meal plan that gives you adequate nutrition for health and normal growth. You can work toward a healthy weight by limiting your intake of high fat foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. You should also eat whole grains , fruits, vegetables , and protein . If you need help planning your diet, a registered dietitian can help.

    Also, make sure you get regular, but not excessive, exercise. This can help you maintain a healthy weight. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.

    Seek Help If Needed

    Earlier recognition and treatment result in better outcomes. Talk to your doctor if you:

        
  • Eat and feel like you are out of control
  • Think your desire for thinness may be getting out of control
  • Have feelings of anxiety that occur on more days than not for at least 6 months
  • Have feelings of depression that last at least 2 weeks
  • Think you may be developing an eating disorder
  • If you are being treated for a mental health disorder, follow your treatment plan.