Wednesday 20th September 2017

What's New

NEWS: The AcSEED Newsletter

11th July 2017

Read The AcSEED Newsletter for July 2017.

NEWS: Farnborough gets AcSEED Award

24th July 2016

Congratulations to The Sixth Form College Farnborough in Hampshire ...

NEWS: Beacon PRU gets AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to The Beacon PRU in Redditch, Worcestershire ...

NEWS: Lordswood get AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to Lordswood Girls' School in Harborne, Birmingham ...

NEWS: Cedars Upper get AcSEED Award

25th March 2016

Congratulations to Cedars Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire ...

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

11th February 2013 ... Charlotte

Today marks the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2013. Eating disorders are commonly misunderstood and misrepresented, especially within the media who often focus only on emaciated teenage girls. The reality is anyone of any gender, age, or background can develop an eating disorder. Furthermore even an individual who appears to be normal or overweight can be suffering with an eating disorder, their body subject to both physical and psychological damage. A growing rate of children are being hospitalised at younger ages for life threatening eating disorders. The majority of young people will at some point worry about their weight or body image. Whilst these insecurities alone may not warrant an eating disorder diagnosis it could potentially develop into something more serious. Early intervention for eating disorders is vital; if left untreated recovery can often take longer.

So what role can schools play in helping students with eating disorders?

As previously stated anyone can develop a eating disorder. However particularly vulnerable students may be high achieving, hard working and possibly perfectionists. In many ways the ideal student, it is important that these individuals are encouraged to maintain healthy lifestyles and receive support for any difficulties.

Individuals suffering with an eating disorder can often be very secretive about their behaviours and may even deny to themselves that there is a problem. This can make it challenging for outsiders to recognise that a student may be struggling. There is no harm in familiarising yourself with common signs and symptoms, however please bear in mind that everyone's experience of an eating disorder is individual so be cautious of making assumptions about individual students.

There are mixed opinions on how best to address and raise awareness of eating disorders within the school environment. The last thing anyone wants is to inadvertently promote eating disorders, and certainly any work focusing on eating disorders should refrain from mentioning weights, numbers or behaviours, and should focus instead on thoughts and feelings. Many organisations and charities run classes on self esteem and body image that deliberately avoid details that may be triggering, and are applicable to all students as they target self-worth and confidence.

To read stories from young people who experienced an eating disorder during their school years please visit our Student Stories webpage

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