Health Promotion & Prevention

Health is greatly influenced by various factors outside the domain of the health sector, including social, economical, and political forces. These forces largely shape the circumstances in which people grow, live, work, and age – creating systems that have resulted in health inequities.

Health promotion is about equipping people with knowledge about their health and its determinants. It is a holistic approach to empower individuals; involves collaborating with communities, health providers, and other stakeholders; and promotes intersectional action to develop sustainable health systems and public policies.

On this page, you'll find information on:

  • awareness campaigns aiming to shift public understanding of eating disorders and disordered eating, improve multisector policies impacting people with eating disorders, and enhance individual, community, and organizational capacity to address eating disorders;
  • using a health promotion approach to build self-esteem, positive body image, and a holistic approach to one's relationship with food and movement;
  • the current state of eating disorders prevention.

Awareness Campaigns

  • International No Diet Day
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week
learn more

Body Image

  • Defining body image and self-esteem
  • Fostering positive body image and resisting negative body image messaging – strategies for yourself and for adults supporting youth
learn more

Eating Disorder Prevention

  • What is eating disorder prevention?
  • Types of prevention
  • What do we know about eating disorder prevention programs?
learn more

What are some risk factors for the development of eating disorders?

What other resources does NEDIC provide to further my learning?

  • What are some risk factors for the development of eating disorders?

    • Risk factors

      Eating disorders are complex, with biological, psychological, and social influences. Some potential risk factors include:

      • Body dissatisfaction
      • Dieting
      • Experience of weight stigma
      • Genetics/family history
      • Low self-esteem
      • Predisposition to experiencing negative emotions or anxiety
      • Trauma

      Biopsychosocial model of the development of eating disorders

      Given these factors, eating disorders preventative strategies and perspectives must go beyond population-based (selective prevention) and individual-based interventions (targeted prevention), to acknowledge environmental risk factors, particularly on a macro-level (universal prevention). This includes challenging the entrenched myths about eating disorders, such as the mistaken beliefs that eating disorders affect only a small subset of females, that a focus on eating disorders will distract from obesity prevention and other comorbid health risks, and that the practices of the diet-products and related industries are unrelated to public health (Austin, 2012).

      Learn more about the different types of eating disorders under Eating Disorders & Treatment.

  • What other resources does NEDIC provide to further my learning?

    • Bulletins

      The NEDIC Bulletin is a free newsletter published five times annually, which highlights current and emerging issues in the eating disorders field. You can subscribe to receive new Bulletins via email as they are published. Previous issues can be found on our resources page. 

    • Webinars

      You can browse our webinars archive to view past sessions organized for public distribution, as well as register for upcoming sessions. We address various topics, some of which include diet culture and weight stigma, eating disorder and comorbidities, skills and strategies for folks directly affected, tips for educators, and treatment approaches. 

    • Media

      Our media page houses an archive NEDIC's media appearances, along with answers to frequently-asked questions for members of the media and people with lived/living experience who wish to partake in media coverage of eating disorders. You can also find a list of typical media requests NEDIC can contribute to, and some guidelines for responsible messaging about eating disorders.