Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders?

Author: Rachel Bryant-Waugh and Bryan Lask

Date Of Publication: 03/10/2014

Can I tell you about eating disorders? invites readers to explore and learn about eating disorders from the perspective of children. The book is aimed at family, friends and teachers of young people aged seven to fifteen, and tells the story of Alice and her friends. It explores several different forms of eating disorder, including anorexia, bulimia, selective eating problems, functional dysphagia and food avoidance emotional disorder (although some eating disorders are absent, including Binge Eating Disorder). Alice and her friends take the reader through how the child feels, why they have a difficult relationship with food and what matters to the young person in terms of supporting them with their eating disorders.

Accompanying the dialogue are illustrations with speech and thought bubbles, which assist in contextualising how each child thinks and feels. This helps the reader identify with the young person and see them, rather than the disorder.

Overall, there are 15 sections of the book. Within these sections, a number of things are covered, including:

  • Introducing Alice and her friends
  • Looking at food avoidance and why each child or young person has a difficult relationship with food
  • The thoughts and feelings of the children and young people
  • What causes eating disorders
  • Problems they have at home and at school
  • How other young people can help
  • Helpful tips for adults
  • Recommended reading, organisations and websites

This book would be a useful support and insight for young people, friends, siblings, carers and teachers to understand what an eating disorder feels like for a child or young person, as well as a valuable component of the toolbox used by healthcare professionals in the eating disorders field and practitioners in the children and young people’s sector.

Most importantly the book shows the young person and their identity beyond their eating disorder, highlighting the importance of treating young people just like any other boy or girl, who have hobbies, interests and lives outside their disorders and problems with eating.

Inclusion of a book on this website does not indicate a recommendation by Beat and it is important to check whether you feel the book is suitable for you at this time. Beat try to ensure that we put a warning about any content that may be triggering in the reviews but different people will respond in different ways to things that they read. Remember, if you do feel distressed by anything you read then you can contact our Helpline Services Team to talk through how you are feeling and get information about other sources of support.