WithAll Blog


How can adults support boys who are struggling with body image?

Jul 19, 2021

Dr. Jason Nagata MD
In today's video Dr. Jason Nagata shares why it’s important to understand that boys struggle with body image just like girls, though sometimes it looks different.

In this video:

Dr. Nagata shares several red flags to look for in boys who might be struggling with body image. You can learn more signs to look for here.

Based on Dr. Nagata’s advice, here are some additional tips you can implement right away if you, like Mike, want to know what to say to strengthen the body image of a young man in your life:

  • Avoid commenting on his size or muscle mass. Be mindful that you should also avoid commenting on the bodies of other young men or even the men you see on TV.
  • Compliment him on his skills on the field that do not relate to his size. (ex: “Great footwork! You didn’t let that offender get by you.”).

Encourage your son’s coach to partner with you in this effort by taking the What to Say Coaches Challenge – our email series with helpful tips and phrases for strengthening the body image of young athletes.

Jason Nagata, M.D., M.Sc. is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and affiliated faculty with the Institute for Global Health Sciences and the Center for Sexual and Gender Minority Health. He is Co-Founder of the International Association for Adolescent Health Young Professionals Network. He is an expert in eating disorders, particularly in boys and men. His other research interests include adolescent and young adult screen time, digital technology use, eating behaviors, food security, nutrition, alcohol use, cardiovascular disease, HIV, and LGBTQ+ health.

What to Say Coaches Challenge

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THE PLEDGE: I believe that words matter. I want to make a positive impact on the kids in my life by stopping harmful diet and weight talk. I am committed to making sure that every child gets a chance to develop healthy relationships with food and body.


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Shannon assists with the logistics of development and operations and making every day run as smoothly as possible. Her day-to-day focuses on our Recovery Support Program, budget management, events, and administrative support. She enjoys being part of the nonprofit world and finding ways to help enhance the organization. She has a heart for serving others and helping people succeed.

Shannon has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health & Exercise Science from Gustavus Adolphus College and a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Walden University.

Outside of work, you can find Shannon chasing her two girls around, attending sporting events and finding the next brewery or winery to explore.

Lindsay leads our operations, programming, fundraising, and communications to better fulfill our mission. She enjoys engaging with our supporters and stakeholders to build stronger connections to our work. Outside the office, you can find her planning her next trip, exploring the Twin Cities, or reading her book club’s latest pick.

With ten years of experience in nonprofit and foundation administration, Lindsay is a creative project manager working to strengthen all our operations. She loves being a part of a team deeply dedicated to discovering innovative and effective strategies to end eating disorders and is excited to invite others into this important work. Efficient and collaborative, she executes activity across all operations, including fundraising, events, communications, and programming. Lindsay has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, and a fundraising certificate from the University of St. Thomas. She and her family live in Richfield, MN.

As Executive Director, Lisa leads WithAll’s strategic growth as a sustainable social enterprise dedicated to the prevention of and healing from eating disorders.

Lisa has more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, community relations, and law, and nearly 15 years of experience in non-profit leadership, most recently at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media. She is a graduate of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, a member of the Minnesota Bar, and a Minnesota Supreme Court appointee to Minnesota’s Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. She volunteers with her daughter’s school and with youth sports.

Lisa does this work because she knows eating disorders are not a choice; they are deadly, and they are everywhere. She also knows kids are not born with harmful thoughts and actions around food or their body—and it’s our job as adults to keep it this way so they can focus their precious brains and time on things that matter.

Lisa finds laughter, all children, and the numerous variations of sparkling water to be delightful.