Young vegetarians and the link to eating disorders

Nutritionist Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD, shares advice for parents on why she encourages parents not to let their kids be a vegetarian due to the link to future eating disorders
Young Vegetarians And The Link To Eating Disorders
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Young vegetarians and the link to eating disorders

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I advise parents, when their child asks if they can be a vegetarian, to say no. That can seem kind of radical, but the reason that I advise against is that some research has been going on for a long time, in Australia primarily, showing a really strong link in vegetarianism leading to an eating disorder. I see that in my patients. I've seen that in myself. That it becomes the first step in making it socially okay to restrict food and in making judgments about food. Now, in families, you have to judge whether it's okay to be a vegetarian or not, whether it works, what's behind this. It can lead into some really interesting talk between families and their children about vegetarianism and eating and health. Are some foods for you? When your child starts talking about foods that are bad for you, some foods are bad; I'd be worried about that too.

Nutritionist Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD, shares advice for parents on why she encourages parents not to let their kids be a vegetarian due to the link to future eating disorders

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Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD

Nutritionist

Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, is the founder of Dartmouth College’s nationally renowned nutrition programs. Currently, Dr. Herrin conducts a private practice in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Marcia received her doctorate in nutrition education from Columbia University. At the University of California-Berkeley, she received her master’s degree and completed a dietetic internship. More recently, Marcia has completed two trainings with James Lock and Daniel le Grange in Family-Based Treatment (Maudsley). She also is certified in Childhood, Adolescent, and Adult Weight Management. Besides a fulltime counseling practice, Marcia has written three books and is working on her fourth. The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders tells parents everything they need to know about eating disorders. Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders tells professionals everything they need to know about working with food in eating disorders. Marcia has been featured in People magazine and on Today and 48 Hours. Marcia credits much of her success with patients with eating disorders and obesity to her own struggles with and recovery from these conditions. Her childhood, as the oldest of six children growing up on a Montana ranch, is another significant influence.

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