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Seeing You: Eating disorders are 'mental health issue'

But what happens when the way you view your own appearance, and others, becomes distorted?
Teenage girl looking in mirror

We all want to have a healthy body image, and that's what we have talked about all this week in our Seeing You Series.

But what happens when the way you view your own appearance, and others, becomes distorted?

►Seeing You: 15 girls have a candid conversation about body image

Gail Hall is a social worker who specializes in eating disorders. She also leads a non profit organization called the Michigan Eating Disorders Alliance, which is trying to raise awareness of eating disorders and how they can be prevented and treated.

"Because it's an emotional problem--a mental health issue--you may see a change in their disposition, they may seem more withdrawn, more anxious, more depressed, more worried than normal. Those are all red flags, Hall said.

Hall also points out that a healthy relationship with food means having a variety of foods available to eat when you are hungry.

And, not necessarily forcing yourself or your child to finish everything on their plate. We all have a natural sense of hunger and fullness and we should not teach ourselves to override that Hall said.

If you have questions about how to talk with your child about body image, you can learn more from the Michigan Eating Disorders Alliance at www.mieda.org or email ghall@mieda.org.

Some other helpful links:

About Face: Dedicated to helping youth resist the harmful effects of the media. The site maintains a "gallery of offenders and winners" which highlights negative and positive ads, and encourages boycotting offending business.

Operation Beautiful: The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for others to find. Life Operation Beautiful on Facebook to get a daily message of positivity.

Proud2beme: An offshoot of NEDA, intended for teens and tweens. Information about health, beauty and fashion with an emphasis on media literacy and truth in advertising. Their anti-bullying campaign is called "Stamp Out Body Snarking."

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