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Question
Posted by: casey | 2004/02/20

gaining weight healthily in college

Hi -
My best friend is really underweight. She does not have any of the mental symptoms of anorexia, however, she eats very little, saying that she has no time or that she doesn't like any of the food she is offered. It's true that she is really busy, however, she does not prioritize eating. She's not a very proficient cook, and she also smokes and suffers from depression. She knows that she needs to gain weight but knows very little about nutrition - she eats mostly pizza, pasta, nutrigrain bars, and sandwiches, but when we run out of food in the house, instead of getting more, she simply won't eat. How can I help her gain weight in a healthy way and learn good eating habits?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Casey
The problem with people who are either not interested in eating or are borderline anorexics, is that you need to get through to her that SHE needs to get help. There is a great deal of information on the Health24 site about balanced diets and healthy foods, so click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and do some reading and then talk to her about her eating habits. You can suggest that if she gives you the money, you will buy healthy foods for her: fortified cereals, fruit juice, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, yoghurt and milk. But she also needs to be encouraged to eat what you buy for her. One factor that may be causing this disinterest in eating, is her depression. Make sure she is getting therapy and medication (if necessary) for this condition because it is associated with loss of appetite and weight loss. If she is not seeing a clinical psychologist, suggest that she goes to the college psychologist as a first step to obtaining help.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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