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How Body Image Impacts Mental Health

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In Part I of our conversation on eating disorders among teens and tweens, we talked about what defines an eating disorder, why girls with ADHD are at highest risk, and how caregivers and teachers can identify and address eating disorders in students. In Part II of our conversation, clinical psychologist Dena Cabrera and registered dietician Megan Kniskern will answer your questions about building healthy nutrition habits for teens with eating disorders. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Strategies to encourage healthy eating in tweens and teens with eating disorders
  • How to talk with your teen about nutrition and its impact on the body and development
  • Approaches to address binge eating and the weak self-regulation skills that contribute to this disorder
  • How to outwit comfort food cravings brought on by emotional dysregulation
  • How to help teens with anorexia have a healthier relationship with food
  • How to know when a teen needs professional help

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year information and referral service. For anyone experiencing a crisis, immediate help is also available by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.


Meet the Expert Speakers

Dena Cabrera, Psy.D., CEDS, is a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with over 24 years of experience treating psychological and psychiatric disorders. Before opening her own private practice in Anthem, Arizona, she served as the Vice President of Clinical Services for Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders. Dr. Cabrera is a nationally recognized expert in her field, having authored numerous articles and publications including co-author of the book Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (#CommissionsEarned). She’s also a sought-after speaker and has been featured on numerous news outlets, talk shows, and prominent national and local publications. She previously served as president of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP). Learn more by visiting her online at

Megan Kniskern, RD, is the owner of MAK Nutrition Services. She is a senior lecturer at Arizona State University teaching management, leadership, professional preparation, and nutrition undergraduate courses, as well as a graduate eating disorders and substance use disorder course which she developed. In 2021 Megan launched her online training program, Deepen Your Perspectives: Nutrition Therapy for Mental Health, to registered dietitians.

Megan works with complex eating disorder clients, and supervises other registered dietitians, in the areas of eating disorders, substance use and mental health nutrition support; educating through a non-diet, weight inclusive, client-centered, trauma and experience informed lens; helping clients and professionals to improve food dynamics and body connection understanding.

She co-authored the Revised 2020 Eating Disorder Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Practice (published) and has served in past leadership roles with the Behavioral Health Nutrition (BHN) DPG and continues to volunteer the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians (IFEDD).

#CommissionsEarned As an Amazon Associate, ADDitude earns a commission from qualifying purchases made by ADDitude readers on the affiliate links we share. However, all products linked in the ADDitude Store have been independently selected by our editors and/or recommended by our readers. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

Closed captions available. Slides and Certificates of Attendance are not offered for Mental Health Out Loud events.

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