Nine Truths About Weight and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are not choosen, they are psychiatric illnesses and nobody signs up to them. An eating disorder is an illness that seems to hold great stigma and weight is often discussed as a central theme in treatment, something healthpro are passionate about stamping out. The AED (The Academy for Eating Disorders) created a list of truths with the aim of erasing societal sterotypes. Below we have shared their list in the hope to spread the word that body weight knowledge is a complex issue and should NOT be the key focus on an eating disorder treatment journey.

Truth 1: Weight is influenced by multiple factors. These include biological, behavioural, social and economic factors.

Truth 2: Weight and health share a complex relationship that is different for every individual. Moreover, body mass index (BMI) is an imprecise and indirect measure of fat and is not an accurate measure of one's health.

Truth 3: Weight is both sensitive and personal and is determined and experienced uniquely for each individual. When appropriate, weight should be approached throughfully and respectfully. At the same time, weight remains a politicized issue with social and economic links that intersect with social inequalities

Truth 4: Weight bias and discrimination are prevalent and have a profoundly negative impact on health, social relationships, education, employment and income. Weight bias stands as one facet of the cultural appearance ideals that emphasizes thinness and are implicated in the development and maintence of eating disorders.

Truth 5: All people, regardless of their weight, deserve equal treatment in both health care and society.

Truth 6: Eating disorders are defined by one's thoughts, feelings and behaviours and obesity is NOT an eating disorder.

Truth 7: Accurate judgements about a person's thoughts, personality or behaviours cannot be made based on their weight and appearance and eating disorders cannot be diagnosed based on a person's weight or appearance.

Truth 8: Dietary restriction can augment the risk of developing an eating disorder and can be detrimental for many individuals across the weight spectrum.

Truth 9: Having a positive body image, regardless of weight, protects against disordered eating and other mental health issues, and is associated with improved health outcomes.

Do you need help? 

If you are affected by an eating disorder please seek help, please go to your GP and ask for a referral to a specialised eating disorder focused psychotherapist and dietitian.They will then build more professionals if deemed necessary.

The team at healthpro offer outpatient services focusing on psychology / psychotherapy and nutrition conselling led by a dietetic team.

To book a psychologist / psychologist please click here and To book a dietitian please click here.

A multidisciplinary team is essential to build while working towards an eating disorder recovery.

The healthpro directory of  psychologists / psychotherapists offer a combination of services from 1:1 therapy, family therapy and helping those who's friends and family are affected by eating disorders. Please never suffer in silence. Please always choose help. 

Bodywhys is the Irish national charity and have a wealth of information on their website. Please click here to view.


  • Fifth Irish National Eating Disorders Conference 2020 booklet.   

Published on 3 March 2020 | Back to March Articles