Eating Disorders


Articles and research on eating disorders and the brain, perfectionism, weight, dieting

Binge Eating at Night? Your Hormones May Be to Blame   New York Times (Jan 30, 2018) by Roni Caryn Rabin – Most dieters know the hard truth: Sticking to a weight loss regimen gets more difficult as the day wears on. But while those who give in to food cravings and binge at night may blame flagging willpower, a new study suggests the problem could lie in the complex orchestra of hormones that drive hunger and signal feelings of satiety, or fullness…. more

Exercise Bulimia, the New Eating Disorder (Dec 16, 2017) by Paige Waehner – Though many of us worry about getting enough exercise, there is such a thing as too much exercise. Regular exercise is a good thing, but more is not always better and in some cases, compulsive exercise can be just as dangerous as eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Compulsive exercise is just another tool some people use to purge their body of calories, much like a bulimic who binges and purges. In fact, there’s even a name for it: Exercise Bulimia….more

Ties Between Immune Dysfunction, Eating Disorders ‘Increasingly Clear’   Medscape: Reuters Health (Nov 11, 2017) by Megan Brooks –  A large Danish study of children and adolescents finds that autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders raise the risk for development of an eating disorder, and having an eating disorder raises the risk of subsequent autoimmune disease…. more

New, ultra-rare gene mutations implicated in eating disorders   ScienceDaily  (Sept 5, 2017) – Rare mutations cluster in specific biological pathways, suggest new targets for ED treatment. A combination of whole exome sequencing, machine learning, and network analysis, has identified new, ultra-rare gene mutations within specific biological pathways that may contribute to eating disorders, according to a study. … more

Eating Disorders Linked to History of Theft  Medscape/Reuters (Aug 21, 2017) by Shereen Lehman – Women with anorexia nervosa or bulimia are up to four times more likely to be convicted of theft – often petty thefts like shoplifting – compared to peers without eating disorders, according to results from a large Swedish study. This increased risk of criminality in women with eating disorders is something doctors should pay attention to because convictions could increase a patient’s stress and anxiety, interrupt treatment and hamper recovery, the authors write in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, online August 9 … more

Eating disorders in men rise by 70% in NHS figures  The Guardian (Jul 31, 2017) by Sarah Marsh – The number of adult men being admitted to hospital with an eating disorder has risen by 70% over the past six years – the same rate of increase as among women. … The figures come after it was revealed that steroid use among young people quadrupled in the past year. … Dr William Rhys Jones, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ eating disorders faculty, said: “Pressure for body perfection is on the rise for men of all ages, which is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Images of unhealthy male body ideals in the media place unnecessary pressure on vulnerable people who strive for acceptance through the way they look.” … more

Men in an Eating Disorders Therapy Group: Creating a Physically and Emotionally Comfortable Space  Gurze-Salucore Eating Disorders Catalogue (July 31, 2017) by Jacob Pine – As those who work with people with eating disorders know, the landscape is changing in ways both positive and negative, exciting and troubling, and medically/therapeutically appropriate and terribly harmful, often at the same time. … Though there is an unfortunate absence of research into this issue, one anecdotal change has been the increase in men seeking therapeutic assistance for eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, compulsive exercising, weight gain/loss, and many other issues commonly thought of as being the purview of women … more

What Cookies and Meth Have in Common  New York Times/Sunday Review (June 30, 2017) by Richard A. Friedman – As a psychiatrist, I have yet to meet a patient who enjoys being addicted to drugs or compulsively overeating. Why would anyone continue to use recreational drugs despite the medical consequences and social condemnation? What makes someone eat more and more in the face of poor health? One answer is that modern humans have designed the perfect environment to create both of these addictions. … more

Disordered Eating Affects Swaths of Youth With Diabetes  Medscape (June 10, 2017) by Norra MacReady – More than half of young patients with type 2 diabetes said they engage in disordered eating behaviors, such as bingeing and vomiting, the findings of a new study show. And among young people with type 1 diabetes, more than 20% reported these behaviors. … more

Tracing the Path of Disordered Eating Over Time  Eating Disorders Review, Vol 28/No 2 (2017) –  Little is known about how disordered eating behaviors and symptoms that appear in early adolescence may change over time. Results of a recent study gives us new information about this trajectory over time, including the fact that there is a 75% chance that those who had disordered eating would continue to have symptoms a decade later. … more

Orthorexia Nervosa: When ‘Healthy’ Eating Turns Dangerous   Medscape (May 31, 2017) by Deborah Brauser – Today’s ever-growing focus on fitness and “clean living” may lead to an increase in cases of a condition known as orthorexia nervosa, according to two presentations here at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2017 Annual Meeting. Orthorexia has been defined as a “pathologic obsession with proper nutrition,” including a strict avoidance of food believed to be unhealthy or impure, that can have serious nutritional and medical consequences. … more

‘Surprising’ Number of Midlife Women Develop Eating Disorders  Medscape (Jan 19, 2017) by Batya Swift Yasgur –  Eating disorders (EDs) affect a surprising number of women in midlife, new research shows. A team of researchers led by Nadia Micali, MD, PhD, medical director and associate professor of psychiatry at the Eating and Weight Disorders Program, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, found that approximately 15.3% of a cohort of 5655 women in their 40s and 50s met the criteria for a lifetime ED, with 3.6% reporting an ED within the past 12 months. … more

Identifying children at risk of eating disorders is key to saving lives   ScienceDaily (Jan 5, 2017) – Spotting eating disorder symptoms in children as young as nine years old will allow medics to intervene early and save lives, experts say. A team from Newcastle University has identified that girls and boys with more eating disorder symptoms at age nine also had a higher number of symptoms at age 12. … more

Why are women more vulnerable to eating disorders? Brain study sheds light  MNT Medical News Today (Oct 16, 2016) by Honor Whiteman – Eating disorders are much more common among women than men. Now, a new study may have uncovered a neurological explanation for this disparity. Researchers find that women are more likely than men to experience brain activity relating to negative body perception. … more

Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents   Pediatrics (August, 2016) – Obesity and eating disorders (EDs) are both prevalent in adolescents. There are concerns that obesity prevention efforts may lead to the development of an ED. Most adolescents who develop an ED did not have obesity previously, but some teenagers, in an attempt to lose weight, may develop an ED. This clinical report addresses the interaction between obesity prevention and EDs in teenagers, provides the pediatrician with evidence-informed tools to identify behaviors that predispose to both obesity and EDs, and provides guidance about obesity and ED prevention messages. The focus should be on a healthy lifestyle rather than on weight. Evidence suggests that obesity prevention and treatment, if conducted correctly, do not predispose to EDs. … more

6 Ways Eating Disorders Can Affect Your (Romantic) Relationships (Aug 18, 2016) by Karen R. Koenig – Dysregulated eaters often believe that their eating disorders hurt no one but themselves. “Who am I hurting but myself” they may try to convince themselves. That is one of many falsehoods that underlie eating disorders — chronic restrictive and rigidly controlled food intake, binge-eating, or anorexia or bulimia nervosa. The self-deception that no one is affected by our food- and weight-related obsessions and compulsions fuels these behaviors and makes recovery nearly impossible. In fact, one of the most powerful motivators for recovery is how having an eating disorder may negatively impact our love relationships. … more

Update: Like Mother, Like Daughter: Identifying Risk for Binge Eating  Eating Disorders Review (July/Aug 2016) – A  team at Michigan State University has found that by identifying mothers at high risk of binge eating, they could also identify risk factors for binge eating among their daughters. … more

Boys With Eating Disorders Carry Higher Psychiatric Load  Medscape Medical News (May 16, 2016) by Megan Brooks – Adolescent boys with eating disorders carry a higher psychiatric load, particularly depression, and present for treatment later than their female counterparts, new research suggests. Behavioral health professionals and pediatricians “should continue to be vigilant in screening for eating disorders as well as psychiatric comorbidities in the young male population,” said Samuel Ridout, MD, PhD … [who] reported the findings … at the 2016 American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2016 Annual Meeting. … more

Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment  MNT Medical News Today  (Apr 21, 2016) by Kathleen Davis – Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), formerly referred to as dysmorphophobia, is a severe psychiatric disorder that involves a preoccupation with an imagined defect in one’s physical appearance. … more

Eating disorders are different in boys and girls, study says   Globe & Mail (Feb 16, 2016) by Kathryn Doyle, Reuters – In girls, eating disorders are often linked with a mood disorder, but that’s not the case with eating disorders in boys, according to a new study. And on average, boys develop eating disorders at a slightly younger age than girls do, and they usually don’t have anorexia or bulimia, researchers say. “These results indicate that there are indeed differences in the ways in which child and adolescent males and females present for eating disorder treatment,” said lead author Kathryn Kinasz of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago. … more

Extremely rare eating disorder misunderstood, says Edmonton boy   CBC News (Feb 4, 2016). Zachary Bell is not a ‘picky eater,’ he suffers from Restrictive Food Intake Disorder … (ARFID), which centres around a phobia of certain tastes, colours or textures. Sufferers of ARFID have an inability to eat certain foods. “Safe” foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. Some sufferers can experience extreme reactions, such as gagging and vomiting when exposed to adverse foods. … more

Inside The Hidden World Of Adult Eating Disorders. It’s not only teens who get sick, and it’s time we start talking about that. Huffington Post (Dec 21, 2015) by Melissa Jeltsen – When adults develop eating disorders, they may struggle with the shame of having a disease associated with teens … Eating disorders are typically ascribed to the young: in particular, female teenagers. But experts say that portrayal is inaccurate. Adults develop eating disorders too, some much later in life. Because of the lingering stereotypes about who gets sick, they can face lower rates of diagnosis, unique medical complications and limited treatment options … more

Obesity isn’t the half of it: fat or thin, our eating is disordered   The Guardian/Opinion (Dec 14, 2015) by Susie Orbach – It’s wrong to focus on obesity as a ‘national risk’ like terrorism. The truth is far more complex, and solutions shouldn’t be couched in warlike rhetoric. … more

Surge in girls with mental illness hospitalised in Scotland   Evening Times (Sept 25, 2015) by Helen Puttick – A SOARING number of young girls are being forcibly hospitalised amid an eating disorder “epidemic”. In one year the number of girls under the age of 18 who were subjected to compulsory hospital treatment for mental illness increased by almost one-third. … Experts from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, who have just published the latest figures, say eating disorders, self-harm and being a suicide risk are the main reasons young girls are detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act … more

Bodybuilding supplement overuse ‘an eating disorder’ MNT-Medical News Today (Aug 7, 2015) – Among men who regularly work out, a desire toward looking lean and muscular leads some to use over-the-counter supplements to improve their chances of attaining their ideal image. Researchers assessing the use of these supplements now say that some men are using these supplements to such an extent that it qualifies as an eating disorder. … more

Eating Disorders: Ovarian hormones play genes like a fiddle, research finds ScienceDaily (July 15, 2015) – A complex relationship between genes, hormones and social factors can lead to eating disorders in women. An eating disorder expert has made monumental strides in deciphering how these factors interact. In her latest discovery, she has found that during the menstrual cycle, ovarian hormones act like a master conductor — they turn genetic risk on and off in the body. more…

Doctors Are Prescribing Amphetamines for Binge Eating. What could go wrong? Mother Jones (July 6, 2015) by Julia Lurie – You may have recently seen a TV ad about the “most common eating disorder in US adults”: Binge Eating Disorder. The spot features champion tennis player Monica Seles talking about her struggles with BED, which was classified by the American Psychiatric Association as a medical condition in 2013 … [a] website and the ad campaign are paid for by Shire, a pharmaceutical company that, in January, won FDA approval to market a drug called Vyvanse to treat BED. Vyvanse is a Schedule II federally controlled substance—meaning that it’s acceptable for medical use but has high potential for abuse—and it’s the only drug that the Food and Drug Administration has approved for BED.. more …

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: More than just picky eating   ScienceDaily (June 18, 2015) — Eating disorders experts weigh in on disorder — two years after classification as a mental health condition. A new commentary by experts reflects on the clinical impact of the diagnosis of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and the work that remains in terms of treatments and improved outcomes. more …

‘Anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease’: An investigation into harrowing online forums promoting extreme dieting.   The Telegraph, reprinted by the National Post (Feb 25, 2014) by Sarah Rainey – This is Jade’s story. Jade is 24 and lives in the North East of England. She studied social work at university, but is now unemployed, “because of the obvious.” Instead, Jade runs a website that has thousands of followers around the world. At the top of the home page is a red banner that reads: “Anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease.”  More

Orthorexia: How eating healthy can lead to an eating disorder.  Can being too health-conscious lead to an eating disorder? We unearth the healthy eating facts.   Elle Canada (2013) by Laura Decarufel – Picture this: After spending the summer indulging in ice cream and cocktails, you decide to embrace healthy eating. You cut out refined sugar and packaged food-the kind of nutrient-free junk on any doctor’s warning list. Wheat and dairy are the next to go.   People compliment you on your weight loss; your energy levels rival those of Jillian Michaels. But soon your innocent health kick takes a strange turn. Certain foods – even fruits and veggies – begin to seem dangerous, even unclean.  Within months, you’ve whittled your list of “acceptable” foods down to almost nothing.  This unhealthy fixation with eating healthfully is called “orthorexia nervosa”… Link

Study: Young men may have unrecognized eating disorders   NBC News (Nov 5, 2013) by Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters — Eating disorders are most often associated with young women, but a new study suggests young men can also become obsessed with their appearance and go to extremes to enhance their bodies.  The problem can resemble a traditional eating disorder or involve use of drugs and supplements, according to U.S. researchers, and it tends to go along with depression, binge drinking and recreational drugs.  Link

Fat and thin find common ground.  New York Times (Oct 10, 2013) by Abby Ellin – When binge eating disorder gained legitimacy as a full-fledged mental condition in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in May, many people in the eating disorders and obesity communities wondered: Will this inspire us to finally get along?  It was a good question, since historically, the two groups have been at odds.   Link

Social media fuel dangerous weight-loss goal   AP (Oct 4, 2013) by Jim Salter – Experts in eating disorders are concerned about an Internet-fueled trend in which teenage girls and young women pursue an elusive and possibly dangerous weight-loss goal: to become so slender that their thighs don’t touch even when their feet are together.  Specialists say achieving a so-called thigh gap is risky and virtually impossible …  Link

Eating disorder specialists not immune to weight bias   Reuters  (Oct 3, 2013) by Kathryn Doyle – Even some mental health professionals that treat eating disorders harbor prejudice against the obese, a new study suggests.  “Weight bias has been documented among different groups of health providers like doctors, nurses and medical students, so there is no reason to expect that professionals who treat eating disorders would be immune to the same bias,” lead researcher Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, said.   Link

Scientists identify brain circuitry that triggers overeating  ScienceDaily (Sept 26, 2013) Sixty years ago scientists could electrically stimulate a region of a mouse’s brain causing the mouse to eat, whether hungry or not. Now researchers from UNC School of Medicine have pinpointed the precise cellular connections responsible for triggering that behavior. The finding, published September 27 in the journal Science, lends insight into a cause for obesity and could lead to treatments for anorexia, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder — the most prevalent eating disorder in the United States.   Link

The 200-pound anorexic: Obese teens at risk for disorder, but it’s often unrecognized  (Sept 22, 2013) by Melissa Dahl – Hear “anorexia” and you think bone-thin young women — scary-skinny runway models with emaciated figures. But an overlooked group of young people are also struggling with anorexia nervosa: overweight and even obese kids.   Adolescents with a history of obesity are at “significant risk” for developing anorexia, says Dr. Leslie A. Sim, clinical director of the Mayo Clinic’s eating disorders program, in a recent paper in Pediatrics. But because of their size, their symptoms often go unrecognized and untreated, Sim says.   Link

Brain size may signal risk of developing an eating disorder   ScienceDaily (Aug 22, 2013) New research indicates that teens with anorexia nervosa have bigger brains than teens that do not have the eating disorder. That is according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine that examined a group of adolescents with anorexia nervosa and a group without. They found that girls with anorexia nervosa had a larger insula, a part of the brain that is active when we taste food, and a larger orbitofrontal cortex, a part of the brain that tells a person when to stop eating.   Link

What you need to know about men and eating disorders    Huffington Post (July 25, 2013) by Nina Bahadur  – Eating disorders aren’t just a “woman thing.” People of all gender identifications, ages, races and sexualities suffer from eating disorders and struggle with body image issues, but the majority of eating disorder research is conducted on young, white women. In the past decade or so, there has been increasing importance placed on understanding the impact these issues have on men. Here are six things you should know  Link

Teen eating disorders increase suicide risk   ScienceDaily (July 22, 2013) — Is binge eating a tell-tale sign of suicidal thoughts? According to a new study of African American girls, by Dr. Rashelle Musci and colleagues from the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University in the US, those who experience depressive and anxious symptoms are often dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to display binge eating behaviors. These behaviors put them at higher risk for turning their emotions inward, in other words, displaying internalizing symptoms such as suicide.   Link

Adults with eating disorders have a poorer prognosis if they suffer hyperactivity   ScienceDaily (July 10, 2013) — A study with 191 patients reveal that symptoms of hyperactivity due to the deficit of attention and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are associated with more impulsivity and more severity, and probably a worse prognosis in patients with eating disorders.   Link

More men suffering from eating disorders, says doctor   CBC News (Apr. 17, 2013) by Ryan Hicks – A leading eating disorder expert says growing research reveals men with eating disorders are more common than you may think.   Dr. Blake Woodside, medical director of the eating disorder program at Toronto General Hospital says his community study plus two others show males now make up one in three cases of anorexia and one in four cases of bulimia.   Link  

Brain imaging studies reveal neurobiology of eating disorders   ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2013) — Current treatments for anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which afflict an estimated 10 to 24 million Americans, are often limited and ineffective. Patients relapse. They become chronically ill. They face a higher risk of dying.  “A major reason contributing to the difficulty in developing new treatments for these disorders is our limited understanding of how brain function may contribute to eating disorder symptoms,” said Walter H. Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorder Treatment and Research Program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.    Link

School-based ‘healthy living’ programs triggering eating disorders in some children: Canadian study    National Post (Mar. 31, 2013) by Sharon Kirkey – School-based, obesity-prevention programs that push “healthy eating” are triggering disordered eating in some children, creating sudden neuroses around food in children who never before worried about their weight, Canadian researchers report.   Link

Eating disorders on the rise in Canada, as sufferers wait for treatment   CTV News (Feb 11, 2013) – Eating disorders are seeing a dramatic increase in Canada, and the troubling trend has physicians and advocacy groups concerned about a lack of treatment available to those who find the courage to seek help.  Hospitals and clinics specializing in eating disorders say there is a rise in the numbers of adults, teens and children, some as young as five, seeking help for eating disorders. Most are women. Sufferers of eating disorders either don’t eat enough, or overeat only to purge the food in a desperate bid to maintain what they believe is an ideal body image. Such conditions can ruin lives, bodies and, in some cases, can prove to be fatal.    Link

Perfectionism and eating disorders: Complex issue    ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2013) — Two aspects of perfectionism are involved in body dissatisfaction and the development of eating disorders, according to a study of over a thousand women published this week in BioMed Central’s open access journal, Journal of Eating Disorders. Adaptive perfectionism is high standards driving a person towards achieving a goal body image, and maladaptive perfectionism is concerned with mistakes and other people’s opinions.    Link

For some women, genes may influence pressure to be thin   ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2012) — Genetics may make some women more vulnerable to the pressure of being thin, a study led by Michigan State University researchers has found.   From size-zero models to airbrushed film stars, thinness is portrayed as equalling beauty across Western culture, and it’s an ideal often cited as a cause of eating disorder symptoms in young women. The researchers focused on the potential psychological impact of women buying into this perceived ideal of thinness, which they call thin-ideal internalization. Changes in self-perception and behavior, caused by this idealization, can lead to body dissatisfaction, a preoccupation with weight and other symptoms of eating disorders.  Link

Vegetarianism, eating disorder study reveals worrisome relationship among women The Huffington Post  (Aug. 2, 2012) by Melissa Jeltsen – “I can’t eat that, sorry.” If you’re a vegetarian, that’s a refrain you’re probably familiar with. Food abounds — at work, at social gatherings — but you don’t partake because of your dietary restrictions…There are many valid reasons to be a vegetarian (see: the environment, your health, and the dismal state of the meat industry, for starters). But what if you go vegetarian to help disguise and aid an eating disorder?  New research suggests a large percentage of women with eating disorders may be doing just that.    Link

Eating disorders, weight worries still stalk women after 50, study finds Today Health (Jun. 21, 2012) by JoNel Aleccia – Women’s worries about weight and shape and the frustration of gaining five — or more — pounds don’t disappear in middle age, according to a new study that finds that body image problems and eating disorders persist at age 50 and well beyond. Link

Beyond anorexia, bulimia:  Lesser known eating disorders  Health on Today (Apr. 17, 2012) by Jenny Deam – For decades, the eating disorder lexicon had two main entries: anorexia and bulimia. But modern research reveals that these fall woefully short of encompassing the many facets of disordered eating… The new disorder: binge eating.  What it is: compulsive overeating, often to deal with negative emotions or stress.  Binge eaters consume large amounts of food very quickly, until they’re uncomfortably full.  Link

Learning about binge eating disorder  Huffpost Healthy Living (Apr. 5 2012) by Dr. Susan Albers – Do you want to know more about binge eating disorder? Professionals from all across the country recently met at a national convention to discuss research and treatment. I got the opportunity to interview Marsha Hudnall, the chairperson of the conference.  Link

Israel bans underweight models in ads in bid to fight eating disorders  Associated Press (Mar. 20, 2010) by Diaa Hadid – A new Israeli law bans showing overly thin models from local advertising in an attempt to fight the spread of eating disorders.  It also requires publications to disclose when they use altered images of models to make the women and men appear even thinner than they really are.  Link

Israel bans use of ultra-skinny models.  Doctors must sign off on model’s weight: Advertisers obliged to come clean on “photoshopping”  Reuters (Mar 20, 2012) – Israeli lawmakers have banned underweight models from catwalks and commercials, a measure they hope will reduce eating disorders and promote a healthy body image.  The law, passed late on Monday, says women and men cannot be hired for modeling jobs unless a doctor stipulates they are not underweight, with a body mass index (BMI) — a measure expressing a ratio of weight to height — of no less than 18.5.  Link

The majority of women with bulimia reach highest-ever weight after developing the disorder  MNT: Medical News Today (Mar 1, 2012) – Researchers at Drexel University have found that a majority of women with bulimia nervosa reach their highest-ever body weight after developing their eating disorder, despite the fact that the development of the illness is characterized by significant weight loss. Their new study, published online last month in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, adds to a body of recent work that casts new light on the importance of weight history in understanding and treating bulimia.   Link

Going to extremes: Eating disorders (Mar. 2012) – Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disease in America. Take a look at these statistics from the National Eating Disorders Association.  Link

Boys dying to be thin: the new face of anorexia  nbc News (Feb 22, 2012) by Yardena Schwartz – Their stories may sound rare, but experts say cases like Avi Sinai, Victor Avon and TJ Warschefsky are growing more and more common. Far from the world of beauty magazines, pin-thin celebrities and runway models, anorexia is striking what many consider to be an unlikely group: boys and young men.   Link

USC study shows the price Wall Streeters pay for success  Los Angeles Times (Feb. 15, 2012) by Walter Hamilton – A critic might say that Wall Street has made the rest of the country sick. Now comes a study showing that financial-industry masters of the universe are making themselves sick. The study by USC business professor Alexandra Michel found that Wall Street’s unrelentingly grueling work schedule – up to 120 hours a week in some cases – often results in severe physical and emotional maladies. A partial list: heart problems, alcoholism, prescription-drug abuse, insomnia, depression, eating disorders, back pain and weight gain.  Link

Like mother, like daughter: Eating disorders run in families (Feb. 13, 2012) by Stacy Lu – Like mother, like daughter: Seeing her child with an eating disorder may hit too close to home for some moms. Research shows disorders run in families; a relative of a person with an eating disorder is ten times more likely to have the illness than someone without a family history of disorders.  Link

School obesity programs may promote worrisome eating behaviors and physical activity in kids  ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2012) – In a new poll, 30% of parents report at least one worrisome behavior in their children that could be associated with the development of eating disorders.  A new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health examines the possible association between school-based childhood obesity prevention programs and an increase in eating disorders among young children and adolescents.  Link

Binge eating a hidden problem among men  (Oct. 31, 2011) by Linda Carroll – People tend to notice when women binge on food — men, not so much. And that may explain why many people think that binge eating is just a women’s eating disorder.  But men are almost as likely as women to lose control in the presence of food and to suffer ill health because of their bingeing, a new study shows.   Link

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research  ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2011) — Binge eating is a disorder which affects both men and women, yet men remain underrepresented in research. A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found that the medical impact of the disorder is just as damaging to men as it is to women, yet research has shown that the number of men seeking treatment is far lower than the estimated number of sufferers.  Link

How I got an eating disorder at 62 (Aug. 4, 2011) by Sandy Naiman – Words like “anorexia” and “bulimia” bring to mind unwell teenagers, not middle-aged women. But eating disorders – the most fatal mental illnesses known – can take hold at any age. Our author shares her own struggle and talks to the experts about the poorly-understood problem.  Link

An older generation falls prey to eating disorders  New York Times: Well (Mar. 29, 2011) by Tara Parker-Pope – More than 10 million Americans suffer from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. And while people tend to think such problems are limited to adolescence and young adulthood, Judith Shaw knows otherwise…Experts say that while eating disorders are first diagnosed mainly in young people, more and more women are showing up at their clinics in midlife or even older. Some had eating disorders early in life and have relapsed, but a significant minority first develop symptoms in middle age. (Women with such disorders outnumber men by 10 to 1.)  Link

More than half a million U.S. teens have had eating disorders, study finds Huffington Post (Mar. 7, 2011) By Lindsey Tanner – More than half a million U.S. teens have had an eating disorder but few have sought treatment for the problem, government research shows. The study is billed as the largest and most comprehensive analysis of eating disorders. It involved nationally representative data on more than 10,000 teens aged 13 to 18.  Link

Prevalence of eating disorders among adolescents studied  ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011) — Eating disorders are prevalent in the general U.S. adolescent population and are associated with other psychiatric disorders, role impairment, and suicidality, according to a report posted online March 7 that will appear in the July print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.   Link

Women with eating disorders draw a different picture of themselves than women without, study suggests  ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2011) — Women suffering from anorexia or bulimia draw themselves with prominently different characteristics than women who do not have eating disorders and who are considered of normal weight. This has been revealed in a new joint study from the University of Haifa, Soroka University Medical Center and Achva Academic College, Israel, published in The Arts in Psychotherapy.    Link

Unnamed eating disorders may go untreated: Anorexia and bulimia the most familiar, but not the most common (May 23, 2010) – by Rachael Rettner.  Anorexia and bulimia are probably the most familiar types of eating disorders, but they are not the most common. Some 50 to 60 percent of patients don’t quite make the cut to be diagnosed with full-blown anorexia or bulimia, and are instead classified as having an eating disorder “not otherwise specified” (EDNOS).  Link

Eating disorders Awareness Week:  The need for increased education, effective treatment and prevention (Feb. 23, 2010) by Susan Blumenthal, MD and Beth Hoffman —  This week (February 21st-27th) is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, seven days designated by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) to raise awareness about the prevalence, impact and public health significance of these disabling and potentially life-threatening illnesses.  When most people think of someone with an eating disorder, the first image that comes to mind is often that of a young, emaciated woman. But this image does not accurately reflect the clinical picture of eating disorders in America and worldwide. Eating disorders are mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating behavior and obsessive thoughts about food and weight. Someone with an eating disorder can be normal weight, underweight, or overweight. Eating disorders are pervasive, affecting up to 24 million Americans and 70 million individuals worldwide…recent research has shown that eating disorders cross racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic lines and that 10-15% of those suffering with eating disorders are men…the percentage of college students dieting, purging, or taking laxatives to lose weight has increased in the past decade from about 28 to 38%.   Link

Eating quickly is associated with overeating, study indicates  ScienceDaily (Nov. 4, 2009) — According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), eating a meal quickly, as compared to slowly, curtails the release of hormones in the gut that induce feelings of being full. The decreased release of these hormones, can often lead to overeating.  Link

Eating disorder risk higher in educated families:  Researchers suggest these girls may feel more pressure to succeed (Sept. 18, 2009) —Girls whose mothers, fathers, and grandparents are highly educated may have an increased risk of developing an eating disorder, a new study suggests — particularly if the girls themselves do well in school.  Link

High-fat, high-sugar foods alter brain receptors  ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2009) — Over consumption of fatty, sugary foods leads to changes in brain receptors, according to new animal research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  The new research results are being presented at the 2009 annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB). The results have implications for understanding bulimia and other binge eating disorders.  Link

When eating disorders strike in midlife   New York Times: Health (July 13, 2009) by Randi Hutter Epstein — No one has precise statistics on who is affected by eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia, often marked by severe weight loss, or binge eating, which can lead to obesity. But experts say that in the past 10 years they are treating an increasing number of women over 30 who are starving themselves, abusing laxatives, exercising to dangerous extremes and engaging in all of the self-destructive activities that had, for so long, been considered teenage behaviors.  Link

Emotions can help predict future eating disorders   ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2009) — A PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has analysed the role played by a number of emotional variables, such as the way in which negative emotions are controlled or attitudes to emotional expression, and to use these variables as tools to predict the possibility of suffering an eating disorder.  Link

Rats show the perils of sugar addiction, researchers say   cbc News (Dec. 10, 2008) — Sugar can be addictive, wielding power over the brains of lab animals much like a craving for drugs, according to Princeton University scientists who say their findings may eventually have implications for the treatment of humans with eating disorders.  Psychologist Bart Hoebel and colleagues at the university’s Neuroscience Institute have studied what they call sugar addiction in rats for years.  They say their rats have met two of the three elements of addiction — they show a pattern of increased intake and then signs of withdrawal. But Hoebel’s most recent experiments also demonstrate a third element — craving and relapse.  Link

Girls with ADHD more likely to develop eating disorders: study   cbc News (Mar. 17, 2008) — Teen girls who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may have a much higher risk of developing eating disorders than girls without ADHD, a new U.S. study suggests.  Symptoms of ADHD can include a short attention span, a low level of organization, excessive talking, aggressive gestures and irritability. It affects five per cent of school-age children, according to the study’s authors. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia, found that girls with ADHD were more likely to develop eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, in which a person first binges on food and then vomits to prevent weight gain.   Link

Weighty matters:  We know that the trend toward super-thin models is pushing some of them to go on potentially deadly diets. What’s it doing to the rest of us?   Newsweek (Feb 20, 2008) by Jessica Bennett, Sarah Childress and Susanna Schrobsdorff  — The specter of dangerously thin models has raised its beautiful, lolling head once again, this time at New York’s Fashion Week, which ends Friday. Stung by negative publicity about boney apparitions on the catwalks, the fashion industry invited eating disorder experts to an unprecedented symposium on the subject in the tents at Bryant Park. It was quite a spectacle.  Link

Binge eating more common than other eating disorders, survey finds ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2007) — The first national survey of individuals with eating disorders shows that binge eating disorder is more prevalent than either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, also calls binge eating disorder a “major public health burden” because of its direct link to severe obesity and other serious health effects.  Link

Sorry. Your eating disorder doesn’t meet our criteria   New York Times: Health (Nov. 30, 2004) by Robin Marantz Henig – Imagine a 20-year-old woman who refuses to eat anything except carrots and toast because she is afraid of gaining weight, even though she is 5-foot-8 and weighs only 99 pounds. She exercises to the point of exhaustion five mornings a week because, though she is bone-thin, she thinks her thighs are too flabby. Her periods are irregular, but she has never gone more than three months without menstruating. Another woman, who is also 20 and also 5-foot-8, has an opposite eating pattern. She goes without eating all day, and starting at 6 p.m. she eats nonstop, whatever she can get her hands on. Her favorite pastime is to sit in front of the television with a gallon of mocha-chip ice cream.   Link

Measuring brain activity in people eating chocolate offers new clues about how the body becomes addicted  ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2001) — Using positron emission tomography scans to measure brain activity in people eating chocolate, a team of U.S. and Canadian neuroscientists believe they have identified areas of the brain that may underlie addiction and eating disorders.   Link

Genetic clues to eating disorders   BBC online: Health  (January 21, 1999) — Doctors studying the causes of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia believe it has less to do with media images of slim-figured models and more to do with biological and genetic factors.  Link