the binge-eating files » Anxiety

Anxiety: links to articles and research related to binge-eating, emotional eating, bulimia, and the diet-restriction cycle


You think you’re fighting your anxiety, but you’re making it worse   The Harvard Gazette (Oct 6, 2023) by Alvin Powell — We need to alter our response to the condition, says McLean psychologist whose new book explains where to start. … David H. Rosmarin, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and director of McLean’s Spirituality and Mental Health Program, has spent decades treating the disorder. We talked to him about his new book, “Thriving with Anxiety: 9 Tools to Make Your Anxiety Work for You,” out this month. The interview has been edited for clarity and length. … more

Anxiety disorders are common. Here’s what everyone should know about them    CNN (Oct 13, 2022) by Katia Hetter – All adults under age 65 should be screened for anxiety, according to the influential US Preventive Services Task Force, which issued new draft guidelines last month. The guidelines, which help guide doctors’ decisions, are not final until a public comment period ends later this month. Still, this is the first time the national group of experts has recommended anxiety screening for such a broad swath of the American public. … more

The Upside of Anxiety   The New York Times (Jan 19, 2022) by Christina Caron — There are several benefits to having an internal alarm system, experts say … Having some anxiety — especially when faced with a stressful situation — isn’t necessarily bad and can actually be helpful, experts say…Here’s why. … more

Eating Disorders Thrive In Anxious Times, And Pose A Lethal Threat   NPR, National Public Radio (Sept 8, 2020) by Yuki Noguchi – … Eating disorders are thriving during the pandemic. Hotline calls to the National Eating Disorders Association are up 70-80% in recent months. For many, eating is a form of control — a coping mechanism tied to stress. Food scarcity and stockpiling behavior can trigger anxieties about eating, or overeating among some. … more

Here’s how exercise reduces anxiety and makes you feel more connected   Washington Post (Jan 21, 2020) by Kelly McGonigal – We all know exercise makes your body healthier and helps you live longer. A growing body of research shows exercise is also linked to a wide range of mood-based and social benefits. People who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. They have a stronger sense of purpose, feel more gratitude, are more connected to their communities, and are less likely to be lonely or anxious. … more

Male mice exposed to chronic social stress have anxious female offspring    ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2012) — A study in mice conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine suggests that a woman’s risk of anxiety and dysfunctional social behavior may depend on the experiences of her parents, particularly fathers, when they were young.   The study, published online in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that stress caused by chronic social instability during youth contributes to epigenetic changes in sperm cells that can lead to psychiatric disorders in female offspring across multiple generations.   Link

The anxious idiot   The New York Times (Aug. 11, 2012) by Daniel Smith – One day last year, I called my brother Scott in a state of agitation, self-hatred and incipient despair. Scott was at work and short on time. I got straight to the point. “I’m in a state of agitation, self-hatred and incipient despair!” I cried.  “Tell me more,” Scott said. “What is it?”  “I’m anxious — again! I’m anxious day and night. I wake up anxious and I go to bed anxious. I’m a total wreck. And I’m not doing anything to help myself! I know what helps and I’m not doing it! What’s wrong with me? Why am I not doing the things I know full well will make me feel better?”   “Oh,” Scott said. “That’s an easy one. It’s because you’re an idiot.” Then he said he’d call me after work    Link

Anxious girls’ brains work harder   ScienceDaily (June 5, 2012) — In a discovery that could help in the identification and treatment of anxiety disorders, Michigan State University scientists say the brains of anxious girls work much harder than those of boys.  The finding stems from an experiment in which college students performed a relatively simple task while their brain activity was measured by an electrode cap. Only girls who identified themselves as particularly anxious or big worriers recorded high brain activity when they made mistakes during the task.   Link

Obese people can suffer from social anxiety disorder due to weight alone  ScienceDaily (July 1, 2011) — A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers shows that obese individuals with social anxiety related only to their weight may experience anxiety as severe as individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD). The findings directly conflict with the criteria for SAD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV). The study is now published online in advance of print in the journal Depression and AnxietyLink

Does eating give you pleasure, or make you anxious?  ScienceDaily (May 21, 2011) — While most people have a great deal of difficulty in dieting and losing weight, particularly if a diet extends over many months or years, individuals with anorexia nervosa can literally diet themselves to death. In fact, this disorder has a very high death rate from starvation. A new study sheds light on why these symptoms occur in anorexia nervosa.  Link

When parents try to control every little bite:  Being too restrictive about your child’s diet can backfire, experts say (Sep. 3, 2009) by Bridget Murray Law — Driven by concern about childhood obesity or other food anxieties, more nutrition-focused parents are turning into food cops, monitoring every morsel their children eat…In fact, a recent study found that being too restrictive about the foods children eat can cause more weight gain. Researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, found the highest weight gain among girls who considered their parents most restrictive about eating certain foods. The study tracked 200 girls for 10 years from age 5.  Link

Finding fear: Neuroscientists locate where it is stored in the brain  ScienceDaily (July 8, 2009) — Fear is a powerful emotion, and neuroscientists have for the first time located the neurons responsible for fear conditioning in the mammalian brain. Fear conditioning is a form of Pavlovian, or associative, learning and is considered to be a model system for understanding human phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and other anxiety disorders.   Link

Brain chemical reduces anxiety, increases survival of new cells  ScienceDaily (May 13, 2009) — New research on a brain chemical involved in development sheds light on why some individuals may be predisposed to anxiety. It also strengthens understanding of cellular processes that may be common to anxiety and depression, and suggests how lifestyle changes may help overcome both.  Link

Genetics of fear: Specific genetic variations contribute to anxiety disorders, study suggests  ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2009) — Polymorphisms are variations in genes which can result in changes in the way a particular gene functions and thus may be associated with susceptibility to common diseases. In a new study in Psychological Science, psychologist Tina B. Lonsdorf and her colleagues from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Greifswald in Germany examined the effect of specific polymorphisms on how fear is learned and how that fear is subsequently overcome.   Link

Nearly 1 in 5 teenagers admit eating problems, but anxiety is a bigger problem than appearance  ScienceDaily (June 5, 2008) — Eighteen per cent of school children who took part in two health surveys carried out a year apart admitted they had eating problems, according to research published in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.   Link