Eating Disorders: In The News December 2009

Eating Disorder Organizations Join Forces To Urge Focus On Health And Lifestyle Rather Than Weight

Medical News Today

In an unprecedented show of concern, The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), Eating Disorder Coalition (EDC), International Association for Eating Disorder Professionals (IADEP), and National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) have joined forces and are urging focus on health and lifestyle rather than weight as a measurement of well-being.

In late November, media stories reported that an American university implemented a new strategy for combating rising weights by requiring students to be weighed during their freshman year. Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or over are required either to lose weight or pass an extra course focused on physical fitness. In response to this, and other similar strategies within the global "war against obesity", national and international eating disorder organizations have joined forces to urge school administrators, employers, and health policy makers to focus more on health and lifestyle for all populations rather than on weight alone. Eating disorder groups assert that this well-intended, but under-informed and unproven strategy of focusing on BMI fuels weight-prejudice and neglects groups which may be in equal need of improving their health and lifestyle. There is concern that, in some cases, the programs contribute to negative self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and eating disordered behaviors among young people. Neither the scale nor BMI calculation provide the full picture most relevant to health status, such as lifestyle and activity patterns, and physical and mental health measures. Thus, assuming ill health based on weight alone is not only inappropriate but harmful and discriminatory, and should be discontinued.

"There is concern that we have lost sight of avoiding harm in the process of addressing obesity." AED President Susan Paxton, PhD, FAED states. "Further, we cannot ignore the opportunity to create a healthier environment, where people of all sizes are given the opportunity to lead healthy and productive lives, instead of singling out individual groups for reform based on weight alone".

Read in full here.


New Eating Disorder Specialist Library Launched To Help Eating Disorder Sufferers, Family, Friends, And Health Providers Find Help

Earth Times

Finding treatment for eating disorders is an overwhelming task for those suffering from eating disorders and the loved ones trying to help them. To solve this problem, Eating Disorder Hope launched the Eating Disorder Specialist Library, to provide a comprehensive resource for exploring and comparing treatment options, providers, treatment approaches and philosophy. All accessible in one library, saving hours of searching the web for options. (PRWEB) November 15, 2009 -- Many eating disorder sufferers and families find that reviewing the online ‘virtual brochures’ offered in the greatly simplifies their search and puts them in touch with some of the best treatment centers and providers for their loved one suffering from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. This new and rapidly expanding eating disorder specialist library is an excellent tool for eating disorder sufferers, families, fri and treatment providers who feel overwhelmed with where to begin in the search for appropriate care for the eating disorder sufferer.

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New Help For Those Battling Eating Disorders


KANSAS CITY, MO - It's estimated that five to 10 percent of people in the Kansas City area have an eating disorder. Girls ages eight to 25 are most at risk, but certainly not the only ones affected. But now, there's a new way to get help.

Fourteen-year-old Alexis Gick is one of those seeking a solution.

"All I wanted was just help from this," she said. "I didn't want to be stuck in this."

Gick battles anorexia and bulimia. What little she did eat, she would purge.

"It was out of my control," said Wendy Gick, mother. "I couldn't do anything to help her. I think that was the scariest part."

Wendy turned to a therapist, who referred them to specialists in eating disorders.

"I was very lucky that I had some very good referrals," Wendy said.

But she knows others don't know where to turn.

"They're not even sure what's going on other than maybe their child's a finicky eater or has been losing weight or has been purging and they don't really know what to do with this," said Mary Beth Blackwell with Jewish Family Services. "Sometimes they've never even heard of an eating disorder."

Jewish Family Services is now launching an Eating Disorder Resource Center for the Kansas City area with a phone number people can call with questions about eating disorders.

Read in full here.


How To Help Your Kids Avoid Eating Disorders


Know anyone with food issues? Chances are, you know many - and maybe you're one of them. In today's world of fast and convenient food, many people have disordered eating. The evidence of obesity, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and a national obsession with dieting is proof we aren't eating healthfully. The problem is that many of the people with unhealthy relationships to food are parents, and that makes them - wittingly or not - role models for their children.

Research shows parents are the biggest influences of their children's behavior, so that means what parents do, not what they say, is often emulated by their fiercely observant offspring. And though most parents hope to raise healthy eaters, many are blind to how their own harmful attitudes and behaviors are affecting their children.

Here are five tips from Edward Abramson, a psychologist who works closely with children and adults with eating issues and author of "Emotional Eating."

1. Avoid diets Parents who want to foster a healthy relationship with food should never put their children on a diet, which usually becomes counterproductive and actually increases the likelihood of future weight gain and subsequent emotional issues. "The focus should always be on improving health and not on weight," Abramson notes. Parents should implement healthier family habits, such as eating reasonable portions and even cooking together.

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Researchers Find Clues To Why Some Continue To Eat When Full

Medical News Today

The premise that hunger makes food look more appealing is a widely held belief just ask those who cruise grocery store aisles on an empty stomach, only to go home with a full basket and an empty wallet.

Prior research studies have suggested that the so-called hunger hormone ghrelin, which the body produces when it's hungry, might act on the brain to trigger this behavior. New research in mice by UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists suggest that ghrelin might also work in the brain to make some people keep eating "pleasurable" foods when they're already full.

Read in full here.


Food Apps For Mobile Devices May Fuel Eating Disorders

News Channel 6

The smart phone applications that help find restaurants, identify songs, and even read bar codes, may be fueling eating disorders.

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