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Thanksgiving Dinner May Not Be Joyful For Family Members Struggling With Eating Disorders

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- Sitting around the Thanksgiving table should be joyful, but it can be quite stressful for someone who struggles with an eating disorder.

Trish Carney, director of nutrition at The Renfrew Center, says there are red flags to notice.

"For someone struggling with anorexia, for example, they are going to be overly focused on food, dieting, counting calories, body size," she says. "They may often times prepare these elaborate holiday meals holiday desserts for others, and refuse to eat it themselves."

If you feel comfortable, mention your concern to the person in private, not at the dinner table.

"It really is best to kind of bring it up in private," Carney says. "You know, after the meal you might pull them aside and say 'I noticed that you weren't eating one of your favorite foods, is there something going on that you want to talk about?' You know I'm here for you and want to help you through this difficult time."

Or you could mention to another close relative that you're concerned, and perhaps they should get involved and seek help.

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