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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 25th 2010, 03:34 PM

Hi guys, I'm currently exploring the subject of Eating Disorders and how it can be triggered. Although the causes can differ from each other greatly, I was wondering if anyone had been influenced by family eating habits? I.e. if your mum was always on a strict diet, did it affect you? Sorry, these are quite personal questions and I completely understand if you'd rather not answer. Any help would be greatly appreicated though!

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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 26th 2010, 03:55 AM

Yes, it can be influenced by parents. Actually research has shown that if your mother had an eating disorder, you are at a higher risk of developing one. My mum had an ED, I have and my sister is funny about food. So yeah, I believe it can be.

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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 26th 2010, 05:15 AM

It's not the case with me and family eating habits being an influence. I found that when I moved and started to compared my fat body to their skinny body. I also think that one time my brother said that I was fat, that really effected me. It's also been something I've done since I was a little girl. I was really picky and I had stomach problems so I would kinda starve myself till I threw up which didn't take very long. I also stop eating when I'm depressed and lonely.

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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 26th 2010, 10:02 PM

Our family is such a big influence to us in so many different ways. We grow up with them, and we learn and aquire some of their behaviour and attitudes as we grow up. Therefore this means that it is a definate possibility that they could also influence our eating habits, resulting in possible eating disorders.

My sister sometimes puts herself on strict diets, which can make me feel guilty for eating that plate of chips, or that chocolate bar. However, I don't take it to the extreme to allow myself to develop an eating disorder, yet this doesn't mean that it won't influence my eating habits as I may 'cut down' on the junk if this makes any sense?

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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 27th 2010, 12:15 AM

I think it is. My mother had an eating disorder, and so did her mother. My mother had bulimia, whereas my grandmother had anorexia. I mean, I think the actual fear of gaining weight and eating specific foods runs in the family, as does mental illness, but I'm not sure whether it could be in your genetics at all.
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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 27th 2010, 04:47 AM

Ok, so this might not be the perfect answer to your question but I think yes.
For example I am vegan and both my parents are as well.
Also, my parents have a strict policy on eating habits (no junk food, no soda etc...)
So, yes, they can be.
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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 27th 2010, 06:39 AM

I definately think it is, in fact I believe that if your mother or sister (even father or brother) has eating problems, or even just constantly diets, your risk of developing an eating disorder increases immensly! I'm not saying that everyone with an eating disorder has an immediate family member with one, nor am I saying that if someone in your family has an ED that you will develop one.

My mum had an eating disorder when she was 14, she has grown up with problems around food, and food is a constant issue...now i mean constant. She always thinks about food...and I know what that is like. She will often 'binge eat' at night, then the next day she will try not eat, or she will just get all silly. This makes it hard for me, because when she doesn't eat...im tempted not to, if you know what I mean.

I think this is the case because of how we are brought up. See I was eating mousse the other day and my friend asked me what type it was, I said "I dunno its a weight watchers one" and people said "eww weight watchers - that stuff is so not mousse - its too light" then it hit me, I have been brought up on diet this, diet that. I don't know any different. That mousse was weight watchers, but not by my choice, my mum bought it. My favourite juice is a diet drink with practically nothing in it - but that's what I have always had. We've never had non-diet sprite or coke in the house. I looked around the other day and we had "Lite" Tomato Sauce, "Lite" Crackers, "DeLite" Yoghurt, "Low fat" Chocolate drink, "Lite" Margarine, The lowest fat milk you can get (its like water I swear!) "Lite" Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream and also Edam cheese which is the lowest fat one out there!
I never even thought of it like that until my friends said how non-rich that mousse was, and to me it was LOVELY...but I have grown up on diet foods that it is just normal for me!
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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 27th 2010, 09:35 AM

i think that they can be but also not always by parents my aunt got anorexia, when she was about 15, but also i think they can also be parents my parents often put me down , tell me im fat and i belive that my parents have played apart in my dieting the pressure my parents have put on me to be thin has made me obseesed with food, i will go for days starving or eating very little, then binge then eat very little agian or starve.

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Re: Do you think eating disorders can be influenced by parents? - October 28th 2010, 08:53 PM

My mom has always been naturally tiny, and my parents never pressured me. They encouraged me to eat healthy foods, eat when I was hungry, stop when I was full.

Unfortunately I still developed an eating disorder. Mental disorders and addictions have run in my family for generations, maybe growing up taking dance, acting, and competitively horseback riding(where skill takes precedence, but so does aesthetic value) manifested whatever coping issues I was having into an eating disorder.

The only remotely triggering person in my family is my grandmother - but I think it's just a generation thing. Even after she was informed that I was sick, she is not afraid to tell me I gained weight...and then, like every good grandma, offer me food ;]

I've also had ridiculously tiny friends. I'm 5'4 and pre-restriction/post-"recovery" [Edited]. By medical standards, my weight/height ratio is healthy, and I know that other people find me more attractive at that weight than when I'm skeletal and when my face is too thin and tired looking. But standing next to my 5'0 [Edited] friend, I feel gigantic and clumsy and ugly and I don't care how unhealthy or unnattractive I look. I want to be lighter.

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Last edited by eunoia; October 29th 2010 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Please do not post weight figures anywhere on TeenHelp.
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