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Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders is an international organization of and for caregivers of eating disorder patients. F.E.A.S.T. serves families by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.

F.E.A.S.T. believes that empowered caregivers are essential to the recovery process and to advocating for evidence-based treatment and research. F.E.A.S.T. has over 6,000 members on four continents and is run entirely by volunteers and supported through individual donations.

 Know the Facts about Eating Disorders...


FACT: Weight is only one measure of health.

When we dismiss the possibility of an eating disorder because of appearances, we: fuel the illness, reinforce stigma, dis-empower the patient and their family, and create a huge barrier to identification and early intervention. To learn more, read: “Facts and Concerns About School-Based BMI Screening, Surveillance and Reporting”

FACT: We do not fully understand the causes of eating disorders. 

What Do We Know About Causality?

FACT: Families play a key role in treatment and in relapse prevention.

See what families CAN do...

FACT: Parenting a child with an eating disorder is not normal parenting, or even normal care-giving.

An eating disorder diagnosis affects every member of the family and the lifestyle of the family, just as it would with any grave illness. Creating a safe and supportive home environment for all family members during recovery is critical, but families often lack the crisis management skills and face stigma in the community when asking for help. Learn more about Parenting During Recovery...

FACT: “Knowing that the brain is operating differently in eating disorder patients can help families respond with less frustration: it can help to understand that this is not a set of choices or lack of motivation to change. No one, including the patient, is at fault.”

Read more from “PUZZLING SYMPTOMS: Eating Disorders and the Brain, a F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide to the Neurobiology of Eating Disorders.”

FACT: By knowing the warning signs of an eating disorder, families and health providers can set aside false stereotypes, leading to earlier diagnosis and intervention, when treatments are most effective.

Learn more about the Warning Signs of eating disorders…

FACT: “Malnutrition, which is found in all EDs, is a serious medical condition, and nutritional rehabilitation is a fundamental component of treatment.…

While the physical symptoms of starvation are fairly obvious, many people do not realize that when the brain becomes malnourished, it negatively affects mood, behavior, appetite regulation, relationships, and can even distort a patient’s perception about their own body weight and shape.”  To learn about the connection between malnutrition and mental illness, read more from “UP TO THE PLATE, a F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide to the Importance of Nutrition for Understanding and Treating Eating Disorders.”

FACT: Eating Disorders are biologically-based brain disorders.

As science has more clearly illuminated the biological nature of the illness, the question of "nature versus nurture" has evolved to a "nature AND nurture" and also expanded the discussion of environment to include genetics, prenatal influences, nutrition, developmental changes, personality traits, hormones, over-exercise, illness, and stress. Learn more about Environmental Factors and Eating Disorders…

FACT: Some environmental influences can increase the chances of a person developing an eating disorder, but probably only if that person has a genetic/biological predisposition.

A person with a predisposition for an eating disorder may never develop one if certain environmental influences never appear, or do not appear at certain developmental stages of growth and brain maturation. Learn more about Genetic Risk Factors for Eating Disorders…

FACT: “With appropriate expert and family assistance, there is always hope for successful recovery.

Treating eating disorders is not easy, and the earlier the intervention, the higher the chance of success. Effective care usually requires a multi-disciplinary approach, specialized caregiving skills, and long-term vigilance. Although an eating disorder diagnosis may feel like a devastating blow to a patient and their family, it is an opportunity to begin a treatment process that can allow your loved one to restore their mental and physical health and live a full, successful life.” Read more from “Port in a Storm: A F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide to Eating Disorder Treatment…






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info@feast-ed.org | US +1 855-50-FEAST | Canada +1 647-247-1339 | Australia +61 731886675 | UK +44 3308280031

F.E.A.S.T. is registered as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. Information on this site is meant to support, not replace, professional consultation. Unless otherwise noted, content is edited by F.E.A.S.T. volunteers with assistance from our Professional Advisory Panel.

  F.E.A.S.T. | P.O. Box 11608 | Milwaukee, WI 53211 USA