Treatments for Eating Disorders

Not many people know just how serious eating disorders are. In the United States, 20 million females and 10 million males suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder, making it more common than acute lymphocytic leukemia or breast cancer. Eating disorders, the third most common chronic illness among teen girls, have a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness.

At Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders, we have the right tools to diagnose eating disorders in children. We deliver the leading evidence-based treatments to patients of all ages and with all types of eating disorders. Treatments for eating disorders are changing. It used to be standard practice to exclude families from treatment, as families were often considered part of the problem. Research has proven this notion false. In fact, research shows early diagnosis and intervention, combined with family-involved treatment, greatly improves the chance for long-term recovery.

Tailor-made approach

After a comprehensive assessment, our team develops an individualized approach for each patient. We offer customized inpatient and outpatient treatment for children, adolescents and adults. We use the latest evidence-based treatments, including:

  • Family-Based Therapy (FBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy–Enhanced (CBT-E)
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Unified protocol (UP) for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders

Everyone on the team — including psychiatrists, psychologists, hospitalists, dietitians and social workers — has special training in motivational strategies and the core treatments for helping children, adolescents and adults with anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. We offer inpatient treatments for young patients up to college age at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

Expert care

The Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders is the only hospital-based program in the Twin Cities to offer immediate access for medical stabilization. In other words, if a child, adolescent or young adult is experiencing medical complications from an eating disorder, we’ll admit him or her to the hospital right away — any time of day or night — and our expert staff will help the patient reach a stable condition.

Here’s more on how we can help heal:

  • Care around the clock. To help patients reach a stable condition in the hospital, at Children’s we provide around-the-clock care, including monitoring, nutritional rehabilitation, high staff-to-patient ratios and access to any specialists that are needed.
  • Staying in your element. If a patient is healthy enough, we focus on treatment in outpatient, or the clinic, so he or she is able to remain in his or her everyday environment and learn to change and recover while going about the activities of daily life.
  • Family-centered care. Family members play an active, positive role in helping kids recover. We view family members as importance resources for recovery.
  • A collaborative model. The Children’s eating disorder team collaborates with treatment developers at Stanford University and the University of Oxford to ensure that treatments are expertly delivered and adapted as needed.

At Children’s, we’re committed to finding the best treatment to help you or your child fully recover.



At Children’s, we know how important reliable information about conditions and illnesses is.


This free event series is open to parents, teachers, counselors, pediatricians and others interested in learning more about eating disorders and treatment options.