With growing interest to address eating disorders in schools, educators are passionate about creating educational programs, but may not know the latest research regarding what is safe or unsafe for a school setting.
In general, we follow this rule of thumb:
When training faculty and staff, it is safe to train about the 6 types of eating disorders and how to intervene. When training students themselves, we recommend focusing on mentalfitness (protective factors), rather than teaching about eating disorders, per se.
Our prevention programs, including student-led programs, focus on enhancing one or more of the seven protective categories of mentalfitness. We have either created evidence-based programs or we bring in existing programs. The seven categories include:
- Community Connections through mentoring, role-modeling and volunteering
- Self-Esteem through internal validation, self-acceptance, self-compassion
- Media Literacy through assertiveness training, voice training, and media literacy awareness
- Mindfulness, not only through traditional techniques, but through mindful eating, exercise and other activities.
- Body Image through many evidence-based programs as well as awareness about weight stigma
- Stress-Management through arts-based coping strategies, and healthy communication training
- Nourishing Body & Mind through nutritional training (led by dieticians) as well as culinary arts and “psycho education” where appropriate.
Some evidence-based programs from the mentalfitness protective category: body image, include:
Body Positive: http://thebodypositive.org, Scott, E., Sobczak, C.
Body Project: http://www.amazon.com/The-Body-Project-Dissonance-Based-Intervention/dp/0199859248, Stice, E., Rohde, P., Shaw, H., et. al.
Healthy Bodies: http://bodyimagehealth.org/, Kater, K.
Samples of evidence-based programs from the mentalfitness protective category: mindfulness, include:
MBSR, University of Massachusetts — Kabat-Zinn, J. — http://www.umassmed.edu/content.aspx?id=41252
MB-EAT, Center for Mindful Eating — Kristeller, J., et. al. — http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/jean-l-kristeller
Mind-Body Medicine, Gordon, J. — http://cmbm.org/research/published-research/
You can sign up for a series of trainings for your district, by emailing me directly at email@example.com. We specialize in training faculty-staff on the latest facts and research surrounding eating disorders and obesity prevention with content that is generated in collaboration with more than 50 national researchers and 20 national nonprofit agencies.