Just a “Click Away” for Children
Author of When
Your Child Has An Eating Disorder
triggers that could potentially lead to the onset of a clinical eating
disorder, disordered eating, or obesity is unfortunately not hard to do
these days. The media, peer pressure, the hurried and bustling family life
in the twenty-first century, and a host of other environmental and genetic
factors contribute to these increasingly critical and widespread public
health problems. An article in the New York Times entitled “Teenagers Find
Health Answers With a Click” (3-20-01) revealed that teenagers are turning
to the Internet for answers to their health questions.
Sadly, in the face of such interest, there has been a proliferation
of pernicious pro-anorexic websites and chat rooms where kids can go
to learn how to become ill and to
make themselves unhealthier.
The good news is
that there’s a place for young people to go on-line to seek helpful
information and answers to their questions about body image concerns,
obesity prevention and eating healthfully.
Abigail H. Natenshon, author of When Your Child Has An Eating
Disorder, and Doing What Works, an
Integrative System for the Treatment of Eating Disorders from Diagnosis to
as part of
website designed for young people, ages seven through young adult. Abigail
is a seasoned psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of eating
disorders, children and families, who provides a powerful educational
resource for young people, encouraging them to formulate ideas, and share
confidences on subjects of importance to them.
The interactive format of this site
invites kids to ask questions that they may have been too afraid or
embarrassed to ask and allows Ms. Natenshon to respond to each child’s
inquiries and concerns personally, privately, and with professional
expertise and sensitivity. Ms.
Natenshon conscientiously recognizes her reader’s concerns, and directs them
to appropriate resources for assistance through email.
Organized like an
interactive magazine, the site includes 25 kid-friendly articles about
healthy eating, obesity, achieving ideal weight and learning healthy methods
to attain and maintain it. In
addition, the site addresses eating disorders and their prevention, helping
kids to assess potential problems and nip them in the bud.
Providing links to
further resources, information is available through this website for family
members and health professionals who wish to become better acquainted with
their child’s concerns, more
knowledgeable about attitudes and behaviors that can result in healthy
eating, and more facile at introducing life long habits that go hand in hand
with healthy eating. Natenshon provides a backdrop for a wealth of
information geared to directing children
and families away from damaging beliefs that often lead to dysfunctional
eating habits and/or eating disorders, such as dieting is the best way to
lose weight, food is fattening, eating fats and desserts is unhealthy, it is
okay to skip meals, and you should
only eat when hungry.