Medical Health Care Provider Resources

About: These training resources have been compiled here for your continuing education.

Why this training is important: These training resources are important because medical and mental health care professionals are highly regarded when it comes a person’s overall mental and physical health. Medical health care professionals can make general statements about weight and health that can trigger eating disorders in their patients without even realizing it and  can help create a healthier population of people by learning how to gauge their patient’s health with the newest tools and research about the connection between weight and health. Mental health care professionals will find continuing educational value in these online training resources as well.

Personal story: ANAD Executive Director, Laura Zinger, struggled with an eating disorder for 12 years, and shares her story about her eating disorder being triggered by a physician:

“When I was 13 years old, I was diagnosed with  Hyperthyroidism, an auto-immune disease that attacks the thyroid gland. It is very hard to treat with medicine in children. The best option offered to me was iodine radiation ablation therapy. In the follow up appointment after the treatment, the endocrinologist told me that now that my thyroid was no longer overactive, I had to watch what I ate, and I couldn’t eat the way that I had been. That is the day that my eating disorder started. Today,  I wish so badly that my doctor’s words hadn’t affected me as deeply as they did when I was 13 years old. The really interesting thing though is that when I was 19, I told my family physician that I wasn’t eating, and luckily, she immediately diagnosed me with an eating disorder, told my father and recommended a therapist. One doctor set off my eating disorder, and another doctor put me on the path to recovery. I believe that physicians are incredibly important to identifying eating disorders and putting people on the road to recovery. It is also very important that physicians learn and are trained in how to properly and safely talk about weight with children and young people. In our society today, there is a lot of misinformation and myths, and physicians are still and always will be highly regarded for their opinions about their patients’ health and wellbeing.” 

Learning Objectives:

  • How to identify physical eating disorder symptoms in their patients
  • What tests will help them determine if their patient has an eating disorder
  • How to talk to a patient with an eating disorder and how to discuss this with their parents as well
  • How to help patients with already existing eating disorders with compassion and care
  • How to discuss weight and health with children and young people
  • How to measure your patients’ health outside of outdated tools such as BMI
  • Where to direct a patient with an eating disorder for more resources and professional help