Recommended Reading

Suggested Reading for Friends & Family of people with eating disorders.

Most of these books are available from:


Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery

Author: Lindsey Hall & Monika Ostroff

This guidebook provides a grasp of sound information, specific tasks, and the support of others. The book includes: answers to frequently asked questions, insight from recovered and recovering anorectics, Monika Ostroff’s own story of recovery, specific things to do that have worked for others, information on healthy eating and weight, suggestions for how to stay committed, and a special section for parents & loved ones.


Anorexia Nervosa: A Survival Guide for Families, Friends, and Sufferers

Author: Janet Treasure

This book provides necessary information about anorexia nervosa to enable those involved to recognize and address it. The emphasis is on collaboration with separate sections for caregivers and sufferers, and short chapters for professionals, such as teachers, therapists, and family doctors. Families who have used and commented on different versions of this book have helped to form its content. Clearly written and well-organized.


Anorexia Nervosa: Let me be

Author: Arthur Crisp

Published by Erlbaum, Hove, England 1980


Bulimia: A Guide for Friends & Family

Authors: Roberta Trattner Sherman, PhD., and Ron A Thompson, PhD.

Presented in a question-and-answer format, this book specifically addresses bulimia with facts and guidelines for friends and relatives to approach a loved one who has the problem. Chapters include: and overview, causes, understanding the problem- underlying behaviors, thoughts, and emotions-, and treatment.


Dying to be Thin: Understanding and Defeating Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia- A Practical, Lifesaving Guide

Authors: Ira M Sacker MD., and Marc A Zimmer, PhD.

Describes what bulimia is and how people get hooked on the binge-purge cycle, the invisible causes of anorexia nervosa, medical effects of anorexia and bulimia, and why many eating disorders go unnoticed by parents, teachers, and friends. Also discussed is how you can recognize eating disorders, and how you or someone you know can stop focusing on food and re-learn how to feel, belong, and love. Also provides info on where to go for professional help with listings of national and local support groups, treatment centers, and more.


Honey, Does This Make My Butt Look Big? A couple’s Guide to Food and Body Talk

Author: Lydia Hanich, MA, LMFT

This book addresses topics that couples face, including: body image, eating, sexuality, weight and dieting, exercise, and compulsive behaviors.


Overcoming Binge Eating

Author: Dr. Christopher Fairburn

A very good tool for anyone who does not have access to adequate treatment- or for anyone, really. The first chapters give excellent information on what to expect in recovery, why the binge/purge cycle happens, why dieting doesn’t work, and provides effective, real-world strategies on resisting the temptation to binge and purge. This book also outlines a stepped self-help program that guides a person through a series of strategies for monitoring their eating habits, finding patterns, addressing problem areas, and working their way back to ‘normal’ eating again. Highly recommended.


A Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders

Authors: Marcia Herrin, EdD., MPH, RD, and Nancy Matsumoto

This book is written by a nutritionist, and it emphasizes home-based recovery, prevention, and detection of adolescent and childhood eating disorders.


Preventing Eating Disorders: A Handbook of Interventions and Special Challenges

Edited by: Niva Piran, Michael P Levine, and Catherine Steiner-Adair

A comprehensive collection of information on eating disorders. With 347 pages and 20 chapters, this book provides a thorough overview of societal institutions and high-risk populations. Half of the chapters describe school-based programs from elementary through college. Piran has been the Editor of the Prevention Series in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention for ten years.


The Rules of Normal Eating

Author: Karen R Koenig LICSW, MEd.

This book discusses the four basic rules of eating that ‘normal’ eaters automatically do: eating when they’re hungry, choosing foods that satisfy them, eating with awareness and enjoyment, and stopping when they’re full.


The Secret Language of Eating Disorders: How You Can Understand and Work to Cure Anorexia and Bulimia

Author: Peggie Claude-Pierre

The book describes five stages of recovery, discusses the challenges peculiar to working with them at home, and presents a plan for working with health professionals. Also offered are stories of former Montreux patients, adding insight and depth to understanding these disorders. Although much of her work has been somewhat controversial, many eating disorder sufferers feel that her conception of how people with eating disorders think (a style of cognition that she describes as ‘Confirmed Negativity Condition’) is quite accurate. Possibly the most useful part of this book for friends and family members is the portion that deals with the inner thoughts of people with eating disorders.


Surviving an Eating Disorder: Perspectives and Strategies for Family & Friends

By: Michelle Siegel, PhD., Judith Brisman, PhD., and Margot Weinshel, PhD.

The psychological and behavioral aspects of eating disorders, pharmacology, and family therapy are discussed, with an emphasis on: bringing up the topic, looking for help, coping with anger and denial, developing a healthier relationship, and guidance for making the situation better right now.


Unofficial Guide to Managing Eating Disorders

By: Sara Dulaney Gilbert

Addresses common myths and misconceptions about eating disorders. Provides a basic overview of eating disorders, as well as advice on what to say and how to act around a loved one with the disorder. Also offers medical advice on using exercise and good eating habits to turn things around.




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