Healthy eating

Eat a variety of foods – base your meals and snacks on carbohydrates, such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals. Include lots of vegetables and fruit and also have protein such as meat, fish, pulses and dairy each day. Try not to eat too much fat, sugar and salt - which is in most ‘junk foods’.

If you decide you want to lose weight then it’s a good idea to do some extra exercise and eat healthily. If you are planning to lose a few pounds that's fine, but if you are thinking about a serious diet you should talk to your doctor.

Eating disorders

Worries about weight, shape and eating are common, especially among young girls. Being very overweight or obese can cause a lot of problems, particularly with health. Quite often, someone who is overweight can lose weight simply by eating more healthily. It sounds easy, but they may need help to find a way of doing this.


What are eating disorders?

A lot of young people, many of whom are not overweight in the first place, want to be thinner. They often try to lose weight by dieting or skipping meals. For some, worries about weight becomes an obsession. This can turn into a serious eating disorder. This factsheet is about the most common eating disorders – anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.


  • Someone with anorexia nervosa worries all the time about being fat (even if they are skinny) and eats very little. They lose a lot of weight and their periods become irregular or stop.
  • Someone with bulimia nervosa also worries a lot about weight. They alternate between eating next to nothing, and then having binges when they gorge themselves. They vomit or take laxatives to control their weight.

Both of these eating disorders are more common in girls, but do occur in boys. They can happen in young people of all backgrounds and cultures.

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