National Eating Disorders Association

It is no fun to worry all the time about how much you weigh, how much you eat or whether you are thin. Here are some things you can do to be healthy and fit, have fun, and concentrate on who you are rather than how you look:

  • Eat when you are hungry. Stop eating when you are full. All foods can be part of healthy eating. There are no "good" or "bad" foods, so try to eat lots of different foods, including fruits, vegetables, and even sweets sometimes. When having a snack, try different types. Sometimes raisins might be good, sometimes cheese, sometimes a cookie, sometimes carrot sticks or celery dipped in peanut butter. If you are sad or mad or have nothing to do—and you are not really hungry—find something to do other than eating. Often, talking with a friend, parent, or teacher is helpful.
  • Remember: kids and adults who exercise and stay active are healthier and better able to do what they want to do, no matter what they weigh or how they look. Try to find a sport (like swimming, basketball, or soccer) or an activity (like dancing or karate) that you like and do it! Join a team, join the YMCA, join in with a friend, or practice by yourself!
  • Good health, feeling good about yourself, and having fun go hand in hand. Try out different hobbies, like drawing, reading, playing music, or making things. Spend your time on activities that you enjoy!
  • Remember that healthy bodies and happy people come in all sizes, and that no one body shape or body size is a healthy one or the right one for everybody. Some people believe that fat people are bad, sick, and out of control, while thin people are good, healthy and in control. This is not true and it is unfair and hurtful. Get to know people and find out for yourself!
  • Do not tease people about being too fat, too thin, too short, or too tall. And don’t laugh at other people’s jokes about fat (or thin) people or short (or tall) people. Teasing is unfair and it hurts.

If you hear someone (your mom or dad, a sister or a friend) say they are “too fat and need to go on a diet,” tell them:

  • Please don’t, because dieting to lose weight is not healthy—and no fun—for kids or adults.
  • You think they look great just the way they are.
  • Don’t diet; eat a variety of foods and get some exercise.
  • Remember, being “thinner” is not the same as being healthier and happier.

Appreciate yourself for all you are—respect and like who you are, enjoy playing and being active, and eat a variety of healthy foods.