Why Christmas Is A Time To Tackle Eating Disorders

Christmas get together

Eating disorders can be a huge problem at any time, but there is no doubt that some periods in the year are tougher than others.

While summer can bring problems for those obsessed with appearance and the assumed need for a ‘perfect beach body’, the approach of Christmas has a different impact, as a combination of the desire to eat more comfort food in the colder and darker months and the excesses of consumption that have become the norm for the season mean overeating is seen as entirely normal.

The very fact that there is such an abundance of rich, fattening food around at Christmas – and increasingly in the lead up to it – can place huge pressure on those with eating disorders.

For some, it is the obvious temptation to overeat, not least because others will be doing likewise. For people with a compulsive disorder, however, that means maintaining any kind of discipline becomes harder.

On the other side of the coin, those with conditions such as anorexia may feel intimidated by the array of food placed before them.

That is why the approach of Christmas is one of the best times for sufferers to see eating disorder specialists in Manchester about their concerns

Part of the solution will come not just from specialist help for sufferers themselves, but from having supportive family members who will make the situation easier. This can involve having a less structured, expectation-laden approach to Christmas dinner, shifting the focus away from food to other festivities once the dinner is over and treating the mealtime as routinely as possible.

This year, attention may switch quickly to the first King’s Christmas speech since 1951, but even if there is no interest in the new monarch’s words, it is vital to shift the focus away from the dinner table.

By recognising it is vital that those with eating disorders and their families prepare ahead for the festive season in the full knowledge of the difficult challenges that it may bring, dealing with Christmas can be made much easier.

Published: 30 November 2021