Schools - a whole school approach | Eating Disorders Victoria
Home Education Schools Schools - a whole school approach



Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) is actively involved in educating about (and helping schools to implement) a whole school approach to tackling the issues of body image dissatisfaction, disordered eating and eating disorder risk management within the school environment.

The whole school approach is one which recognises that effective prevention and behaviour change for young people requires concurrent intervention at a number of different levels, including

  • School curriculum, teaching and learning
  • School ethos, organisation and policy
  • School –community partnerships
  • School-parental communication and education


We have long known that eating disorder risk prevention programs in schools (both primary and secondary) can have an impact on children’s behaviour and attitudes. However,  it is also recognised that single information sessions (not backed up by changes in the school environment) have little long-term impact on either body image, self-esteem or eating behaviours.

In workshops aimed at a broad range of school staff (principals, school nurses, primary and secondary teachers, physical education staff, outdoor education staff, welfare staff), EDV’s Education Officer provides information about

  • Implementing body image friendly school policies and procedures
  • Healthy eating for mental health
  • Celebrating a diversity of body shapes and sizes in school activities and promotions
  • Educating parents about body image, disordered eating and the increasing sexualisation of children in society
  • Promoting physical activity not just sport
  • Identifying high risk students and implementing prevention programs
  • Incorporating self-esteem, resilience and strength building activities in the curriculum
  • Incorporating cooking skills and mindful eating skills into the curriculum
  • Incorporating media literacy, activism and critical thinking skills into the curriculum
  • Peer programs that tackle body image bullies and ‘fat-talk’
  • Recognising and excluding harmful practices (weighing, ‘healthism’, recovered speakers)
  • Using a Health at Every Size approach to tackle issues such as obesity and healthy eating without promoting fad or harmful dieting
  • Understanding and managing students with currently diagnosed eating disorders


A whole of school approach to the prevention of body image and eating problems recognises that whole communities need to be involved in fostering health within a school environment.

Role models for young people are actively encouraged to think and talk about their own attitudes about the ‘thin ideal’, any inadvertent focus on body size, providing consistent messages (and behaviours) about nutrition, using positive language about food and avoiding terms like ‘junk’ and ‘bad' food.

Further information

For more information about workshops, seminars and education programs run by Eating Disorders Victoria please call 1300 550 236 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To register for forthcoming events, please go to our Events page.

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