My anorexic son is trying to make the rest of the family fat

This can happen for two reasons:

1. It is very common for an anorexic to try to persuade everyone around him to eat more food. It makes him feel even more proud of his ability to restrict his own food intake. My son used to be forever offering his younger brother biscuits and Mars bars. Other anorexics have been known to make elaborate meals, give everyone enormous helpings, but only have a tiny portion themselves.

2. If your son is on a re-feeding diet, by definition he will have to eat more than everyone else in the family to gain weight. If he can persuade everyone else to eat more he will feel less guilty about finishing his own meal.

This is unacceptable behaviour and the carers must try to put a stop to it as soon as possible. Both the anorexic child and his siblings need to be given clear guidance on what is acceptable when it comes to food. The easiest way to stop this sort of behaviour is to restrict your son's access to the kitchen while he is ill. If the carers take control of dishing up meals and handing out snacks to the other siblings then this situation should be easily avoided. However, once your son is well on the way to recovery it will be appropriate to let him start to take some responsibility for his own food intake and to let him have access to the kitchen.

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