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It can be frightening or overwhelming if you have child or loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not choices, passing fads, phases or special diets. Eating disorders are severe and can be fatal. Eating disorders can be recognized by a persistent pattern of unhealthy eating or dieting behavior that can cause health problems and/or emotional and social distress. It's important to know that you did not cause the eating disorder and that recovery is possible. 


Fortunately, there are resources to understand this illness and to help you support your loved one. These pages will help you understand what the various types of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and more. You can also learn about treatment opportunities and resources you can use to support your loved one's recovery.


Support Groups

The Alaska Eating Disorders Alliance is offering free, confidential Family & Friend support groups on a monthly basis for caregivers. Groups are being held on the third Saturday of each month from 9:30-10:30 a.m. in person and via Zoom hosted by Evelyn Abello, LPC.



Eating Disorder Hope also provides support group information and resources, as well as a directory of support groups by state. 


Finding Treatment

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses. They are treatable, and the sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the better the chance of a good recovery. 




Parent Training Course

Currently, AKEDA is offering a free self-paced Parent Training Course for Alaska parents of youth experiencing restrictive eating disorders.

A special program by Jane Reagan Nutrition that gives parents the tools they need to help, heal, and restore a child with an eating disorder.


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Resources for Parents

F.E.A.S.T. is a global support and education community of and for parents of those with eating disorders. Among their resources are a Family Guide Series, which are small booklets for the use of families facing an eating disorder diagnosis in the household. Guides include information on diagnosis, nutrition, neurobiology and treatment.

FEAST also offers a forum Around the Dinner Tablea free discussion and support group provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

NEDA Parent Toolkit - The NEDA Parent Toolkit is for anyone who wants to understand more about how to support a family member or friend affected by an eating disorder.

Parent PowerPack - provides tips and conversations starters for sharing What to Say with other adults and inviting them to join you in supporting your kid’s health.

Resources for All

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) offers information to understand these illnesses. You can learn about eating disorders, including diagnoses, warning signs and symptoms, diagnostic criteria, health consequences, stages of recovery and more. Online forums are available for parents, spouses, friends and children of those struggling. In addition, NEDA offers helpful brochures. 

The Academy for Eating Disorders offers many useful resources, including an overview of Treatment Options.

Additional Information

These videos and articles are helpful in understanding eating disorders and what causes them.

How to help a Loved One, NEDA video

Eating Disorders: What Are They? Video on eating disorders by people who have experienced them

“Eating Disorders from the Inside Out” video by Dr. Laura Hill

Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder A Parent Will See





Warning Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders - Includes information about each type of eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, orthorexia, diabulimia and more.


Children Pediatric Growth Charts and Eating Disorders - learn how monitoring your child’s growth charts could prevent an eating disorder

Regular Eating for an Eating Disorder Recovery - How frequency of meals and snacks helps improve the recovery process

Eating Disorders Meal Support: Helpful Approaches for Families - Video providing strategies to help parents and families provide structure and support to youth with eating disorders before, during, and after meals.

How to Talk With Your Children About FoodIncreasingly, eating disorder, and child health experts stress that the current model of nutrition education encourages disordered thinking around eating. Pushing “healthy” foods can make children like them less; demonizing and forbidding “junk” foods may make children obsess about, hide and hoard these foods when old enough to get them on their own. Here are some tips to help rather than harm.


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