Is there someone in your life whom you worry might have an eating disorder? Do you know how to recognize symptoms of an eating disorder? While some symptoms are obvious, some are simply exaggerations of healthy behaviors taken too far.
One obvious symptom of an eating disorder is weight loss or weight fluctuation; however, this does not apply to everyone with an eating disorder. Meghan Bennett, Recovery Care Specialist of Selah House, LLC reminds us that “someone struggling with bulimia or ED NOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) may not experience much weight loss, may be over weight due to binging and purging, or not lose weight rapidly or drastically. The stereotype is that someone must be severely underweight or losing rapidly to have an eating disorder is misleading. Nearly half of the clients I work with in an inpatient ED facility have to do little to no weight restoration.”
There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that more than half a million adolescents in the United States could qualify for a diagnosed eating disorder according to research published at Archives of General Psychiatry. The study included structured interviews with more than 10,000 teenagers and their parents. The good news is that more than half a million is just under three percent of adolescents.
It is estimated than 0.3 percent of teens will suffer from anorexia nervosa, 0.9 percent will suffer from bulimia nervosa, and 1.6 percent will suffer from binge-eating disorder. Although many of the kids will experience some mental health treatment, it is generally not eating disorder specific.
While I am glad to read a low percentage of teens experience eating disorders, it is essential that proper treatment is provided to those kids that need it. Eating disorders require special treatment by a trained professional and often a team of professionals. The best treatments with which I am familiar include medical professionals, nutritionists, counselors, psychiatrists, and peer groups. Eating disorders are complicated syndromes that must take into account and treat a variety of factors.
The former child star who captured the hearts of fans as D.J. Tanner on Full House, Candace Cameron Bure was not exempt from the pressures of growing up in the public eye. In her new book, Reshaping It All, Cameron Bure reveals that she suffered from bulimia and discusses her path to recovery.
The actress appears on the cover of next week’s edition of PEOPLE magazine. “It’s a very dangerous cycle that can just start to consume your life and really take over,” she told the magazine. “It wasn’t about me trying to lose weight,” said Cameron Bure. “It was all about emotions.” Her eating disorder peaked after Full House ended its run.
According to a report released November 29, 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, eating disorders are on the rise. The numbers for children under the age of 12, male children, and those of minority descent showed a sharp incline. This report updates a previously filed 2007 report, due to a sharp rise in all areas reported, including number of cases reported and better understanding of the need for medical support.
One reason for the increase in reported cases of eating disorders may be the “increased focus on weight management and dieting related to increased rates of obesity,” the report’s lead author David S. Rosen, MD, said, as well as the rise in emphasis on Body Mass Index. With rising numbers of obesity for children, many feel that children are taking the message to lose weight too far. Dr. Rosen encourages pediatricians to “be mindful not to encourage unhealthy dieting or focus exclusively on weight (risk factors for eating disorders) and instead emphasize healthy eating and physical activity.”
Everywhere we look, we are told we are fat and need to lose weight. For the majority, that constant drone from the TV and magazines goes ignored, but for a growing number, fitting in a workout isn’t just no-big-deal, it’s non-negotiable.
With the emphasis on fitness, calories and weight loss, eating and exercise disorders emerge as many turn from a healthy consciousness of food and exercise turns to an unhealthy obsession. But when is that line crossed? When does making your workouts a priority go from a healthy habit to a dangerous punishment?
Professionals recommend getting 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week, but many are racking up 3-6 hours daily between morning runs, yoga classes and trips to the gym. To those on the outside, their dedication to fitness is awe-inspiring, but to those affected, exercise addiction is a dangerous and unhealthy disorder. (more…)
Bulimia is destructive both physically and mentally. The repetitive vomiting that is sometimes a part of bulimia can cause dental discoloration and swollen cheeks. Those who suffer from bulimia generally also suffer from low self-esteem. Verbal, physical, or sexual abuse are all risk factors for developing bulimia.
People who suffer from bulimia are more likely than others to have parents with substance abuse or mental health struggles. Participation in activities that generally require slenderness can also contribute to the development of bulimia.
At Diets In Review, we take healthy weight loss seriously. The goal is a healthier life, not to be the skinniest person on the block. We want to be an inspiration of health, not thinspiration. When undertaken improperly weight loss can be as damaging to your body, or more so, than being overweight. Sadly, disordered eating patterns, obsessive exercising, and distorted body image affect many – more than 11 million people in the United States. Eating disorders are dangerous and life threatening. In fact, anorexia has a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness.
When most of us think of eating disorders, an image of a teen-aged girl or young woman enters into our minds: Sallow complexion, hollowed eyes, noodle-like arms, stick legs. We’ve all “seen” her. But what about closing your eyes and envisioning a grown man, and not a gangly and lanky one, but rather an overweight gentleman who has battled bulimia, binge-eating disorder, laxative abuse, nighttime eating and an almost dangerous inherited love of food.
In fact, it was precisely the excess pounds and passion for food that landed author of Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater, Frank Bruni, a job as the restaurant critic for The New York Times. In his nakedly honest memoir, Bruni chronicles his life as not just one of the most respected (and feared) food critics in the country, but also as a voracious eater whose relationship with food rendered him powerless over anything from convenience store eats to Chinese food delivery. (more…)
Tune-in this Friday, September 25, to Tyra when Stephanie Pratt, The Hills actress, gets candid about her battle with bulimia.
In an exclusive interview with the talk-show host, the actress opens up about her struggle with bulimia including the pressure in Hollywood to stay thin, whether or not she engaged in the eating disorder while on the set of her hit MTV show, and how she finally decided to stop.
Stephanie is also featured on the cover of this week’s Us magazine as she further addresses her eating disorder.
Check with your local listings for exact show times.
In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 22 – 28), we are investigating what some of the most current and effective therapies for treating this devastating disease.
As yoga has been met with open arms here in the West, medical science has also been quick to embrace this 5,000-year old Indian tradition. Recently, yoga has been used to address the psychological factors that enable a full-blown eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. In fact, some of the most prominent eating disorder treatment centers in the country, like the Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Fla., and New York Presbyterian Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., incorporate gentle, meditative yoga courses into their regular treatment plan. (more…)