Prevention programs aim to prevent eating disorders before they begin. Primary prevention is intended to help promote healthy development in children and adolescents. Secondary prevention (sometimes called "targeted prevention") promotes early identification and treatment of disordered eating before it spirals out of control. The National Eating Disorders Association has developed eating disorders prevention guidelines and prevention educational programs focusing on helping children develop healthy body image and self-esteem. Prevention programs remain controversial as the relationship between disordered eating and clinical eating disorders is not yet clear.
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