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Position Statement: Parents DO NOT Cause Eating Disorders
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Supporters of F.E.A.S.T.'s Position Statement:

"Parents DO NOT Cause Eating Disorders"

Becky Henry, Hope Network, Inc

USA

Hope Network fully supports this statement that parents do not cause eating disorders, they are a necessary part of the treatment team and need to be treated respectfully.

Martha Shimeall

USA

 

Laura K. Ratner , LCSW-C, BCD

US

 

George Seminara

USA

Try to continue the good work.

Therese S. Waterhous, Willamette Nutrition Source, LLC

USA

I fully endorse this statement and adhere to it in my practice as a Registered Dietitian, treating eating disorders.

Jane Mateya R.N

Usa

As a Mother of a Daughter with an E.D. and nurse who has studied about eating disorders for the past three years, I have no doubt in my mind that parents do not cause e.d.s. It has been shown by evidenced based practice that the family is perhaps THE main ingredient for a successful recovery. E.d.s are in fact a biological condition of the brain. Thanks to funding for Alzheimers research new info about the brain disorders in E.D.s have been uncovered. Stop blaming and start educating families and treatment providers and the general public about these proven ways to manage and treat E.D.s successfully!

Merja Miettinen

Finland

Statement that families cause eating disorders will only disable parents from taking the actions needed and prevent totally the recovery.

Dr. Joy Jacobs

USA

This statement represents years of hard work and perseverance by patients, families, researchers, and clinicians in retelling the story of eating disorders. Kudos to all for help bringing about this era of change.

lauren calig

United States

 

Lisa Marshall

USA

After being treated as toxic parents by therapists and nutritionists, we were relieved to find people who believed we could help our daughter recover by feeding her.

Denise Clancy

USA

Parents are not to blame,nor is their child, No one is to blame. Parents need to know that they Can be Part of the Solution,Not part of the problem. When a parent is supported so then is their child. Our Children Cannot Do this on their own,They need Our Help. It is imperative and Very Life saving. Food Is Medicine and Recovery is Possible...

Kristine Baldo

60559

 

Mary Simons

 

 

Stephanie B. Milstein, Ph.D, Dennis & Moye & Associates, PC

USA

Parents do not cause eating disorders rather are an essential component of the solution. Parent/Family involvement is treatment and the ongoing process of recovery is ESSENTIAL!!!!!

Elizabeth Galkowski

USA

Please let me know what I can do to aid this progress! I'm a recovered AN Mom of a recovering AN daughter. I have some interesting (?!) insights! I'm a visual artist ( fine arts, but I'm great at design) and I feel that I can write pretty darn well! I'd like to help out. Thank you all so very much, Lisa Galkowski :)

JoAnne Terry

USA

Left alone, ED sufferers cannot get well on their own; parents need to be involved and assist the sufferer by providing the nourishment. Food is a strong medicine against ED. Our daughter struggled with her eating disorder because we (her parents) where told to back off. It wasn’t until we found a family based treatment provider team that we were able to turn the corner and really fight against ED and not against our daughter. Parents need to be involved and parents need to be empowered and supported in their involvement. We are living proof that parent involvement is a powerful tool for recovery from ED.

Laura Collins, F.E.A.S.T.

US

I support this position statement.

Fiona Bromelow

England

 

Tammy Geraldson

USA

 

Catherine Loeb

USA

I wholeheartedly support this statement as based on sound science and a move in the right direction for both the health of sufferers and their families.

Rhonda J Overberger, South West MI Eating Disorders Association

US

"Someone needs to be there when the doctor isn't. That should be parents. Parents are an integral part of the treatment of their children for every illness you can think of. Why, then, should it be different for eating disorders". -Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder, James Lock, Daniel Le Grange

Susan Schreiber

USA

This is a clear explanation of the most important points families should know about eating disorders. Every professional attempting to deal with this terrible illness should read this and every family should be made aware of these ideas before attempting to find treatment.

Kristine Denton

US

I wholeheartedly support this statement. When parents are involved in treatment there is great hope for long-lasting recovery.

Dr. Sari Shepphird

USA

Empowering families helps recovery!

Melanie Stevenson

Scotland, UK

It is time that all members of the medical profession throughout the world took this statement on board, and moved forward in their thinking. Eating disorder patients deserve up- to-date treatment protocols, in line with patient treatment in other fields of medicine.

Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED , Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders

USA

Families are the most important resource in treating eating disorders. Family based therapy has made treating eating disorders in adolescents far more successful than previously possible. Thanks for getting the word out!

Jennifer Whisman

US

 

Lisa Lilenfeld, Ph.D, Assoc. Professor at Argosy University-Washington DC; Fellow, Academy for Eating Disorders

USA

 

Sharon K. Farber, Ph.D

US

 

Janiece DeSocio, PhD, PMHNP, Kartini Clinic

USA

Science has established that eating disorders are brain disorders, and to think of them otherwise only adds unnecessary suffering for our patients and their families. Parents do not cause eating disorders and our patients do not choose them.

Kitty Anderson Jones

US

 

Lydia Spottswood,  FEAST Board of Directors

USA

 

Erica Husain

UK

 

Julie O'Toole MD , Kartini Clinic

USA

All of us at Kartini Clinic support the FEAST position, we have publicly gone on record for 10 years as "treating eating disorders in the believe that parents do not cause nor do children choose to have them"

Cecilia Adams

USA

 

Tomas Silber,MD,MASS , Children's National Medical Center

USA

Parents need support based on science and not open or covert criticism based on old fasioned and disproven notions

Joan K. Orrell-Valente, PhD

 

 

Dawn Keenan

U.S.

 

Elizabeth Gregory

US

 

Doreen Stein-Seroussi

USA

 

Carmen

US

 

Susan Leung

Hong Kong

 

Cynthia Arnold

USA

I wholeheartedly support this statement. Thank you to FEAST and all who are working to make it a position held in the entire ED world.

Gill Todd , south london and maudsley nhs foundation trust

 

Parents do not cause eating disorders. Through fear, guilt, huniliation and a sense of shame parents/carers can keep the disordered behaviour going by accommodating to eating disorder behaviours. This can confuse the sufferer who may then become more frightened of change than is necessary. Parents and Carers can work on their own self-confidence and self-esteem and try to gently support the sufferer to take tiny steps to experimenting with change. In essence I think Parents can be significant influences for change.

Susan Columbine

 

 

Mark Mensh

 

 

Nancy Gordon

 

Parents do not cause eating disorders, depression does!

Sloane Madden , The Children"s Hospital at Westmead, Australia

Australia

 

Dr. Gary Tartakov

United States

 

Carolin Gray

Australia

Support the Patient by supporting the Parents.

Lucia Gannon

Ireland

 

Gina O'Neill , South Pacific Private

Australia

 

Cris E. Haltom, PhD , Western NY Comprehensive Care Centers for Eating Disorders

USA

Current evidence supports each of the statements included here.

Sandra Skalski

 

 

Liz Brown

 

 

Rose Zohs , St.Vincent's Body Image and Eating Disorders Service

Australia

Parents suffer enough watching a loved son or daughter struggle with an eating disorder. Judgement and misunderstanding only add insult to injury. Compassionate care for families is just as important as exemplary treatment for people with eating disorders! I fully support this position statement.

Sarah Krevans , FEAST Board Member

 

It is important to move away from a culture of blame and fund research that can help us to understand the biological roots of this disease; armed with that knowledge we can also look at what environmental factors can be put in place to minimize the development and severity of the disease in those who are at risk. “Our research has found that genes seem to play a substantial role in determining who is vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. However, the societal pressure isn’t irrelevant; it may be the environmental trigger that releases a person’s genetic risk.” Families should not be blamed for causing anorexia. In fact, they are often devastated and suffer from the consequences of this illness.” Walter H. Kaye, M.D., professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Diego.

Lynn S. Grefe,  National Eating Disorders Association

US

 

Dr. Carlie C Tartakov ,Iowa State University

 

Supporting parents supports children.

Giuliana Mogorovich

Australia

 

Mark ,EATSANE

USA

I support that principle that parent don't cause eating disorders

Judith Banker , Center for Eating Disorders

USA

Family support and involvement in treatment is essential. It is vital to get this message out!

Shannon Cutts , MentorCONNECT

United States

I am such an admirer of F.E.A.S.T. - if ONLY it had been around when our family was going through my battle with anorexia and bulimia! Thank you for all you do. Shannon

Solange COOK, psychologist , Robert Debré Hospital

France

I totally agree with this statement.Part of my wort as a family therapist is to convey this message and to mobilize family resources rather than loook for family deficits to repair.

Buddy Howard

 

 

Douglas Bunnell, Ph.D.

USA

Bringing families back into partnership with clinicians is essential. They were pushed away for too long with disastrous results. Thanks for pushing the treatment community towards inclusiveness.

Wendy . Community Health Consulting, LLC

United States

after 12 years of our daughter suffering from anorexia and nuerous srelpase while being in individual therapy trying to get to the "cause" of her anorexia so she could overcome those obstacles, we finally said "enough is enough" Thanks to our being referred to F.E.A.S.T. and reading Laura Collins' book, we finally understood than none of these clincians helped our family get our daughter to a restorative weight so she could actually recover. Now, our 23 year old, has finally been given an accurate target weight and our family has the help of a family based therapist who, in 3 months, has moved her along towards actual recovery. We have seen for ourselves that she was always under the grip of eating disordered thinking and never had a chance to be her true self --- happy, free of Ed thoughts/behaviors, and able to become the young woman she was meant to be. For the first time in 12 years, we are hopeful. And, we are in full support of the F.E.A.S.T. position statement that families need to be involved in refeeding and suppo

Evelyn Tribole MS, RD . www.EvelynTribole.com

USA

I'm a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders, for about 20 years. Removing the stigma of parental blame-is essential, not only because research shows parents are not the cause, it adds a burden of unnecessary suffering and guilt. Treating and recovering from an eating disorder is tough enough on a family.

Debi Lerner-Rubin

Israel

 

June Alexander

Australia

I congratulate F.E.A.S.T. for standing up for parents and for families.

joanne ellwood

United Kingdom

 

Susan Maccia , NEDA - PFFN

USA

 

Susan ringwood , Beat

UK

We know families don't cause eating disorders.we also know there is a persistent myth that they do, and we are committed to telling the truth about eating disorders. We share the science with families, and collaborate with the researchers and clinicians who are working hard to bring understanding and healing to this most challenging condition.

Donald Nielsen

United States

Eating Disorders are a mental illness. The need to be treated as such. Environmental issues can exaserbate the problem, but do not cause it.

Kitty Westin

USA

Parents and family members should be viewed as an improtant part of the treatment team and as allies in treating eating disorders. We need to get past blame and go on to collaboration and cooperation!

Dr. Walter Kaye , UCSD Eating Disorders Program

US

 

Jenni Schaefer , Author, "Goodbye Ed, Hello Me" and "Life Without Ed"

USA

I am recovered from anorexia and bulimia. My parents definitely didn't cause my eating disorder, but they did a whole lot to help me get better.

Janet Treasure , Maudsley Hospital

UK

 

Belinda Dalton , The Oak House

Australia

I support this statement for the many reasons raised - EDs are biological, present in all types of families and blaming parents is fundamentally unhelpful at best and damaging at worst. Focussing on the solution to the problem as a united team that includes (not excludes) the parents/family, is most effective.

Andrew Wallis ,The Children's Hospital

Australia

Based on the research and clinical experience with families. AN can effect any family situaion. Better to look at how to help.

Roxanne E. Rockwell M.A. , UCSD

USA

 

Dr Elizabeth Crouch

Australia

I believe that this is true , from personal and clinical experience.

jacqueline abbott, DrPH, RD,CEDS

 

 

Lynne Lanning

UK

 

Mollie E. Rupp

USA

It's true.

Robyn and Peter Mercer

Australia

After what felt like a living #$@%! for many months, our child is recovering from anorexia because, after a lot of searching, we found people who did not blame us or search for a 'cause' but who helped us to feed her. Thanks to FEAST for pointing us in the right direction and for offering unwavering support and informed education.

James Lock

USA

 

sam menaged , The Renfrew Center

USA

 

Lynn Bentson MD

USA

Eating disorders have occured throughout history, they happen in every class, ethnic group and gender. Medicine used to blame families for asthma because it was caused by "neuroses" rather than mast cells, and ulcers were not caused by H. pylorus, but by familial stress. We need to fix the problem , not fix the blame .

Sigrid Bergenstein

 

I concur with the evidence presented on the site. My personal experience also leads me to believe that parents are not"to blame."

Kelly Stewart

USA

 

Cecelia Quaal

USA

I am a parent of a child who is recovering from anorexia nervosa and I am a mental health professional. I have been on both sides of the treatment table and can tell you that it is imperative that we train the general public and all medical and mental health professionals that anorexia is an inherited brain disorder like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. We need to get rid of the guilt and shame associated with the disorder. Parents do not cause anorexia. There is effective treatment available. Cecelia Quaal, RN, BSN, MHSRN

Teri

USA

My daughter went through an ED program which was family based. I support it fully as I do not believe that any person could be responsible for causing an eating disorder.

Beth Mayer

US

 

Blythe Brown

USA

Our daughters recovery was delayed for 6 months while we were told "hands off", "it's a control issue" etc. Real treatment started when we learned that parents are not the reason for the illness and they can be an integral part of successful recovery.

charlottebevan

UK

I support the statement because I am a carer for an anorexic and KNOW that no one in the family caused her condition. It appears that the clinical depression that has dogged both my and my husband's family for generation manifested itself in my 12 year old daughter and that anorexia was her way of coping with it. I will not be blamed for her illness but hope to be praised for her recovery.

Gerri Marquardt

U.S.A.

MOM AND DAD DO NOT CAUSE THEIR TEENAGE DAUGHTER TO HAVE ANOREXIA NERVOSA.THEY LOVE HER AND ALWAYS HAVE. THEY HAVE ALWAYS ATE WELL, HARVESTING WILD FISH AND GAME,PICKING THE FRUITS OF THE GREAT LAND ALASKA.BUT ONE DAY THE BEAUTIFUL TEENAGE DAUGHTER JUST STOPPED EATTING.MOM AND DAD THOUGHT IT WAS A FAZE,BUT IT WASNT.MOM AND DAD WERE CONFUSED, THEY TRIED HER FAVORITE DISHES...SHE REFUSED.THEY TRIED LOVING, PRAYING,CRYING.THEY WOULD SPEND EVERY PENNY IF THAT WOULD HELP HER GET BETTER. SO MANY DOCTORS, NURSES,SHRINKS! EVEN UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYES OF US ALL ,THE GIRL GREW WORSE, ENDING UP IN THE E.R.FIGHTING FOR HER LIFE. THAT HAPPENED TWO YEARS BEFORE SHE FINALLY FOUND FREEDOM FROM ED. MOM AND DAD SUFFERED THROUGH HARDSHIPS, MOM WAS HALF BLIND BUT WOULD STILL FIND A WAY TO TRAVEL HALF WAY DOWN AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO SEE HER BABY. wHEN MOM GOT THERE THE DAUGHTERS COUNSELOR SAID 'YOUR FAMILY UNIT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL, AND MOMS SMOKING, PLUS HER INCURABLE DISEASE...IS CAUSING YOUR DAUGHTERS

grace maguire

United Kingdom

 

Wendy Norcross,  Community Health Consulting

Maryland

Because there remain many eating disorder clinicians and treatment programs that perpetuate the notion that someone chooses to be anorexic and/or that they have this illness due to family dynamics. That placing of blame is the biggest obstacle to someone recovering from anorexia or another eating disorder. To make a parent the "enemy" is what the ED wants to remain in control

robert hughes , pomton lakes public schools

usa

 


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F.E.A.S.T. is registered as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Information on this site is meant to support, not replace, professional consultation. Unless otherwise noted, content is edited by F.E.A.S.T. volunteers with assistance from our Professional Advisory Panel.

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