Stigmatization of Eating Disorders


Gina Dimitropoulos’s paper for Canada’s National Eating Disorder Information Centre highlights some great information on the distorted perceptions held in public and professional spheres, consequences that these negative attitudes can have for individuals experiencing eating disorders, and tips for challenging internalized stigma and stigma in public, professional, and family roles. Check out a few of our favorite quotes below and follow the “Source” link to access the full paper.

  • “Eating disorders are perceived by the general public as being self-inflicted: that these individuals should easily be able to pull themselves together and that they have only themselves to blame for their illness.”

  • “Negative comments and jokes about an individual’s appearance and eating patterns will only push individuals further into their eating disorder and increase their fear of being harshly judged. Family members and friends should avoid using negative terms, e.g., manipulative, selfish, liar, when speaking about an individual with an eating disorder, as this will only increase shame, blame and guilt.”

  • “It is important to not only educate oneself about eating disorders but to also challenge others, e.g., co-workers, extended family, friends and even professionals, who make belittling remarks about individuals with eating disorders.”