Myths and Misconceptions:
A Quiz

By Abigail Natenshon
Author of When Your Child Has An Eating Disorder

  1. Dieting is the best, and the only way to lose weight. T/F
  2. Nobody eats breakfast. T/F
  3. Eating disorders are mainly about food, weight and eating. T/F
  4. Eating disorders are incurable. They are for life. T/F
  5. Food is fattening. T/F
  6. Fat-free eating is healthy eating. T/F
  7. It is easy to spot an anorexic. They are thin and they do not eat. T/F
  8. “Girl diets” are a normal rite of teenage passage. T/F
  9. Eating disorders are rich, white girl diseases. T/F
  10. Parents are the cause of their child’ eating disorder. T/F
  11. Health professionals cure disease. T/F
  12. Kids don’t need parental advice by the time they reach adolescence. T/F
  13. A person only needs to eat when he or she is hungry. T/F
  14. Eating disorders are a less serious problem than is drug abuse or alcoholism. T/F
  15. Laxatives and diuretics help a person to lose weight. T/F
  16. Skipping meals helps a person to lose weight. T/F
  17. What a child eats is none of a parent’s business. T/F
  18. A meal is anything you put in your mouth around mealtime. T/F

All the answers to the above quiz are “false.”

Psychotherapist Abigail H. Natenshon has specialized in the treatment of eating disorders with individuals, families, and groups for the past 28 years. She is the author of When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Parents and Other Caregivers, Jossey Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA. October 1999. Based on hundreds of successful outcomes, this book shepherds concerned parents step-by-step through the processes of eating disorder recognition, confronting the child, finding the most effective treatment for patient and family, and evaluating and insuring a timely recovery. A guide to eating disorder prevention, this book is useful to parents, health professionals and school personnel alike in countering the pervasive epidemic of unhealthy eating and body image concerns, and destructive media and peer influences. Her work can be reviewed further at her web site at To order visit

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