Family-based treatments and nurturing support for childhood eating disorders

We are the only comprehensive program in Northern California to offer the leading family-based treatments for the full range of eating disorders, such as anorexia, in children and adolescents

Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program

Founded in 1978, The Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program at Stanford was the first interdisciplinary eating disorder treatment program in North America to provide inpatient and outpatient medical and psychological care for adolescents. It continues to be the only comprehensive eating disorder treatment program in Northern California with a dedicated interdisciplinary inpatient unit for medically unstable adolescents and young adults, as well as outpatient medical and psychological services.  The program treats children and adolescents with eating disorders that include:

A Widespread Problem

Public attention in recent years has helped generate awareness about the widespread problem of eating disorders. These disorders affect adolescents from a wide range of ethnicities, social classes and geographic locations. According to the Society for Adolescent Medicine:

  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia, is the third most chronic illness in adolescent females (in terms of time they are sick)
  • Eating disorders also occur in boys
  • With comprehensive treatment, most teenagers can be relieved of the symptoms or helped to control eating disorders

The importance of this program is underscored by numerous studies documenting that early recognition and prompt treatment of eating disorders are essential to preventing serious long-term health consequences in adolescents.

Inpatient and Outpatient Services

Patients access care through the program's eating disorders outpatient clinic, or if they are in need of medical stabilization, through the inpatient Comprehensive Care Program. The combination of both inpatient and outpatient services in one program makes the Packard Children’s Hospital eating disorders program truly unique.


We have over 40 years’ experience treating adolescent eating disorders.  Our program is part of Packard Children’s Hospital’s Center for Adolescent Health. Patients receive care from physicians in the Stanford University School of Medicine Divisions of Adolescent Medicine and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Youth at both ends of weight spectrum challenged by global pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a greater incidence of obesity and eating disorders among young people, according to experts at Stanford Children’s Health.

Learn more about the impact