Tag Archives: eating disorders

Monica Seles Speaks Out for Vyvanse, an ADD Drug Approved for Binge Eating Disorder

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In a 2009 interview, Monica Seles told Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times, “I needed to figure out my emotions….to stop my love hate relationship with food and just have a love relationship with food. After that I could have a love relationship with my body.” Monica was able to fix her BED without Vyvanse, but is now the spokesperson for the drug company’s new campaign. While the pill has been on the market for attention deficit disorder, it has now been approved to treat compulsive overeating in adults.

Monica Seles, is a former number one world professional tennis player, and recovered from a nine-year struggle with compulsive eating herself. Back in 2009 she documented her struggle and recovery in the book Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self. By hearing her story, Monica hopes that other adults with BED will get the support they need. A national campaign was been developed to support the drug’s release, and more information about its role with this disease is found at BingeEatingDisorder.com. There you’ll learn more about BED, the experiences of others, and how to raise the topic with health care providers and loved ones. (more…)

Jennifer Lawrence Bashes Gwyneth’s Gluten-Free Eating Disorder; Ed Sheeran’s Vodka Diet

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When Celebrity Diets are No More Than an Eating Disorder

Leave it to Jennifer Lawrence to keep it almost too real. This time, the Hunger Games and X-Men actress is making headlines for sharing her not-so-flattering opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow’s gluten-free diet.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lawrence called the Gwyneth’s diet choice “the cool new eating disorder,” describing it as “I just don’t eat carbs.”

Those are pretty harsh words for a diet that’s purportedly followed for medical reasons.

“It doesn’t follow that gluten-free dieters are then eating disordered. Many people have aberrant eating patterns but don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder,” explained our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD.

In her new book, It’s All Good, Paltrow wrote, “Every single nutritionist, doctor and health-conscious person I have ever come across…seems to concur that (gluten) is tough on the system and many of us are at best intolerant of it and at worst allergic to it.”

While gluten intolerance may be a real medical issue for Paltrow and her family, Lawrence wasn’t entirely in the wrong for labeling gluten-free eating as the latest “it” starvation diet. (more…)

Eating Disorders Can Hide Behind a Guise of Health

It used to be that eating disorders were just about being thinner than everyone else. But that’s no longer the case. Now you have to be stronger, fitter, and healthier than everyone else too. Since this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 24-March 1) it seems like the perfect time to talk about the new ways disordered eating is surfacing.

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Though not an officially recognized eating disorder, there is a growing trend in orthorexia or an obsession with health. Many people, especially teenagers, associate health with the number on the scale or how they look in the mirror. Both of those can be good baseline for determining health, but there’s a lot more to it than how big your thighs are.

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Rachel’s 60 Percent Weight Loss is Nothing to Celebrate; Biggest Loser Should be Ashamed

UPDATE: Editor Brandi Koskie spoke with WCCO radio in Minneapolis, MN, about Rachel’s shocking weight loss. Listen to the conversation here:

 

 

105 pounds. 60% loss? Rachel is beautiful, but @biggestlosernbc that is not healthy. We both know that. We shouldn’t celebrate that.

That’s what I tweeted tonight once the confetti fell on the Biggest Loser stage. Reactions of shell-shocked viewers, like this one, poured in. And there are more below.

 

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Rachel Frederickson may have won Biggest Loser season 15 tonight, but there’s very little to celebrate. She looked stunning when she was finally revealed during the live finale, but awe turned to shock when millions of viewers at home noticed her frail, skeletal frame.

“I knew it would come to this someday, just wish it hadn’t,” was the comment from a trusted insider who attended the finale. For years people have wondered if the $250,000 prize money would push contestants too far. This isn’t the first time a finalist has looked too thin on that scale; but no one has ever looked as frighteningly emaciated as Rachel did tonight.

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“It’s so much worse in person, isn’t it?” I texted, following the show’s ending.

“I legitimately cried,” our insider told us upon seeing Rachel in person. “[NBC] should be beyond ashamed.”

NBC has “no statement,” confirmed at 9:15am today.

My sentiments were the same as my insider’s. Rachel’s final weigh-in put her at 105 pounds. That’s not how much she lost, that’s her current weight, a 60% total weight loss off of a starting weight of 260 pounds. That percentage, most likely one of the highest in show history, absolutely secured her win. (more…)

The Cotton Ball Diet is Trending Amongst Young Girls Despite All Logical Reasoning

Let’s eat cotton balls so we’ll feel full … to whom did this ever sound like a great idea?

Apparently it’s sounding better and better to young girls across the country who are gobbling up the newest trend in diets (read: eating disorders). Not exclusive to teens and tweens, it’s no surprise that models are swallowing this new take on eat-less-weigh-less, too.

It appears to work like this: Dip the cotton ball in your choice of beverage. In the video, lemonade, orange juice and a smoothie were shown being used as the lubricant to make these cotton balls more palatable. Some dieters do this before a meal, limiting the amount of real food they’re able to consume; other dieters consume the cotton balls exclusively.

Nothing good can come of doing this. Absolutely nothing.

Dr. Doug Nunamaker, a physican at the direct care practice Atlas, MD in Wichita, Kansas called it “pretty much one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard people trying in order to lose weight.” We are quite inclined to agree.

Followers of this absurd trend stand to lose more than just weight, as any level of extended use will bring on malnutrition, which has warning signs of anemia, diarrhea, hair loss, disorientation, loss of concentration, weakness, lack of energy, dried and cracking skin, and can even lead to organ failure and death in some cases. (more…)

Danielle Hastings Runs Toward Marathons in all 50 States While Overcoming Her Eating Disorders

Most inspiring stories have unlikely beginnings. This is true when you look at the running career of Danielle Hastings. This avid runner, also known as The T-Rex Runner, is a distinguished member of the Marathon Maniacs and is completing her goal of running a marathon in all 50 states. “I have finished 34 states and plan on completing all 50 states by June 2015.”

Hard to believe this is the same runner who quit the soccer team on the first day of practice because the coach made her run a lap. The sport has lead Hastings to and through so many places.

Hastings quit the soccer team when she was seven and remained a non-runner until after college. She shamelessly admits she gave running a try after seeing others running down the street and thinking they “looked really cool.” She further admits she got serious about running a few months after she married and it began to fall apart. “It got me out of the house during a rough time,” said Hastings.

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The running pretty much won out, and she told us how running serves as her continued outlet for life’s struggles.

“I would say the biggest obstacle that I have (almost) overcome is my 11-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia,” she admitted. Running has helped her deal with the eating disorders that she has battled since age 16. Unlike many, running is not a trigger for the disorder in Hastings’ case.

“Running has been an outlet for my stress and anxiety and has helped me change the way I view food,” something is no longer Hastings’ enemy. She’s continually learning to see food as fuel. Admittedly, she explains it’s still a daily battle, but one she’s winning thanks to running. (more…)

First Mobile App for Eating Disorder Treatment Now Available from Recovery Record

Recovery Record Home ScreenResearchers at Recovery Record have announced the creation of the first mobile app designed to facilitate the management of eating disorders in real time. Patients and doctors connect through a secure app to co-manage care, monitor goals, track progression, and even communicate.

This comprehensive platform, out today and available for iPhone and iPad, is not intended to take the place of in-person therapy sessions, but doctors hope the new technology will appeal to their core patients, the gadget-centric group aged 12-25.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, 10 in 100 young women will be diagnosed with an eating disorder this year. Many more will go undiagnosed because of the perceived stigma attached to sufferers and because some are simply too scared to ask for help. Those who battle anorexia nervosa or bulimia have the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition, yet only one in 10 sufferers receive treatment.

These are the shocking statistics that led researchers to create a better way to help patients feel more in control of their recovery, and also to convince those who have been suffering in silence to seek help.

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Teens with History of Obesity at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders

An alarming new trend has come to light following the release of an article in the October issue of Pediatrics. According to researchers from the Mayo Clinic, teens who have a history of obesity of being overweight are at a higher risk of developing eating disorders as they undergo treatment for their weight problems.

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The study looked at two cases where teens were brought to their doctors by concerned parents. Though the teens’ symptoms matched those of eating disorders, the doctors were hesitant to diagnose the teens with disordered eating. Instead, both were originally diagnosed with much rarer conditions. The study further states that this may have happened due to the fact that the teens were at healthy Body Mass Indices (BMI).

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Almost Anorexic: New Book Explores Relationship With Food in a Different Way

Almost AnorexicIn the new book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem, Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical Research program at Massachusetts General) and best selling author Jenni Schaefer explore a new definition of anorexic behavior, the “almost effect.”

Almost Anorexic is one in a series of books about The Almost Effect, written by faculty members of Harvard Medical School and other experts. This book, and others in the series, suggest that behaviors often fall short of meeting the criteria of receiving a particular diagnosis, but still fall outside of normal behavior. These are the people who often slip through the cracks and whose behaviors often develop into a full-blown condition.

Recently, I spoke with the bubbly co-authors about their collaboration. “When Harvard Health Publications approached me about the book, they encouraged me to work with a writer,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The first person I considered was author Jenni Schaefer. She added a great layer to the book.” Not only has Jenni penned numerous books about eating disorders, she knows about the disease firsthand. 

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Binge Eating is Now a Diagnosable Mental Illness in DSM-5

Remember the last time you ate so much that you felt sick, and with dried marinara on your chin you decried, “I’m in a food coma!”? You had been binge eating, and you could be mentally ill.

Binge Eating

On May 18, the American Psychiatric Association released the DSM-5, the most recent update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. For the first time in the manual’s 60-year history, binge eating was included. For mental health professionals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and the legal system, this handbook acts as the official and standard criteria for classifying mental disorders. Since everyone occasionally overeats, the designation of binge eating as a legitimate mental illness almost seems imprecise and excessive, but binging is associated with seriously negative psychological symptoms.

The inclusion of binge eating in the DSM-5 is a contentious issue in the mental health community, because some feel it will be over-applied or linked to common problems with overeating.

To illustrate my point, let’s go back to that food coma. After you’ve overeaten, you didn’t feel well, and you were bummed out, confused as to why you thought six slices of pizza and a two liter of soda was a good idea, and you probably wanted to turn back time and eat a salad. Those feelings are light-hearted representations of depression, guilt, and lack of self control, which are all manifestations of a mental illness. (more…)