Holidays and PWS Food Security

Family time and food go hand in hand. With planning, this can be a joyous time for all. Without a plan – it can be even more stressful than ever imagined

If you will be with relatives, remind them of the importance of food security, especially at a big event. Many people do not understand that it isn’t just about calories, but also about decreasing anxiety and assuring your loved one’s safety.They may not understand that a slender person with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) still may need protection from the possibility of binge eating, which is a significant danger during the holidays.

  • Assign a specific person to be a partner to the person with PWS at all times. Dr. Linda Gourash states, “When everyone is in charge – no one is in charge.” This duty can rotate as long as the switch is directly made between partners.
  • Knowing the menu ahead of time will help you plan food choices; ask the hostess for details.
  • Discuss the food and timing of the meal ahead of time so there will be no surprises and no disappointments.
  • Plan seating arrangements to help your loved one avoid sitting near food and condiments.
  • When the meal is done, make sure food is put away or constantly supervised.

Your loved one must have the security of knowing you will be strong in your commitment to keep them protected from food – in spite of themselves. Giving in, even once, means several battles ahead.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful to PWSA (USA) for the new app which gives families instant access to our website. Please take the time to add this valuable resource to your phones before you travel. Please take any abdominal complaints seriously during this season, and seek urgent evaluation if you have any reason to worry.

CLICK HERE for a handout version to print out and share.


Kathy Clark
Medical Coordinator PWSA (USA)

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