Prevention of eating disorders is very essential since they are a thereat to human health as they result to very serious health conditions. However, it should be noted that it is usually difficult to come up with preventive measures especially due to the fact that most of the underlying causes are not usually known. Prevention measures may include reducing or eliminating conditions or factors that lead to the eating disorders. In addition, prevention also involves early detection and treating of the problems related to eating (Levine & Maine, 2005).
Primary prevention generally involves minimizing social pressures especially concerning appearance (Canals, Carbajo, Fernandez, Marti-Henneberg & Domenech, 1996). Institutions like schools should focus on teaching and counseling adolescents to pay more attention to individuality and personality other than physical appearance. Parents should maintain a family environment that allows communication between them and their children in order to help them develop positive attitudes towards food.
Individual factors like low self esteem and perfectionism should be addressed both at family and society levels. Moreover, people suffering from low self esteem should be encouraged to seek counseling services (NEDIC, 2003). Secondary prevention which usually involves reducing the time an individual may suffer from an eating disorder is usually not an easy task as it calls for early detection which becomes a challenge due to the fact that patients are always reluctant to report their problems.
However, people close to such people like siblings, friends and parents should be keen to notice any abnormal or changing attitude towards food or body shape. Teachers are best positioned to notice any change as they are well versed with the behavior of students and any changes in attitude. Health care professionals are very instrumental in enhancing secondary prevention as they can be able to identify various symptoms associated with the eating (NEDIC, 2003).