the binge-eating files » Eating Disorders

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

Eating Disorder Hospitalizations Increase in Canadian Kids   Medscape (Dec 29, 2023) by Kate Johnson — Hospitalizations of children with eating disorders increased by 139% in Ontario, Canada, from 2002 to 2019, data indicate. The largest relative increase was among patients who usually are considered atypical, such as boys and younger teens. … more

A pile of dirt makes me drool’: why some people crave and eat inedible things   The Guardian (Dec 18, 2023) by Amy Fleming — From chalk to rubbers and clay, there are a variety of reasons why those with pica syndrome yearn to eat non-foodstuffs. But is this dangerous?  … more

Cyberbullying may cause disordered eating in younger teens   Washington Post (Dec 6, 2023) by Tracy Vonder Brink — Children who had been cyberbullied were twice as likely to exhibit disordered-eating symptoms, a study says. The number of things parents need to consider when it comes to their children and device use can feel overwhelming. Yet there’s another one to add to your list: Cyberbullying may be linked to the start of eating disorders in younger teens, according to a study released this fall. Encounters with cyberbullies often go hand in hand with texting and social media: Pew Research reports that nearly half of U.S. teens say they’ve been cyberbullied, most often about how they look. … more

What Is Binge Eating? 5 Signs You May Have A Problem   StudyFinds (Oct 11,2023) by Shyla Cadogan, RD — We have all overeaten at some point. Sometimes, the pie at Thanksgiving is too good not to go back for seconds. However, binge eating is different. It’s a lot more serious than just eating a few more chips than you normally would. Binge eating disorder (BED) involves eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling like you can’t turn the switch off. … more

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan: ‘The culture of disordered eating and dieting is still thriving’   The Guardian (July 29, 2023) by Kadish Morris — The American writer on her debut novel about weight and womanhood set in 90s Harlem, how her mother’s Black feminist books changed her life and writing a work of hip-hop magic realism … more

The Most Common Eating Disorder in the U.S. Is Also the Least Understood   New York Times (May 31, 2023) by Dani Blum — Binge eating disorder entered the diagnostic manual on mental health conditions 10 years ago. It’s still getting overlooked. … more

How Poverty and Food Insecurity Can Lead to an Eating Disorder   Slate (May 15, 2023) by Frances Thomas – The stereotypical person suffering from anorexia or bulimia is rich, white, and thin. New research is illuminating a troublingly different picture. … Some of the most striking recent data concerns the intersection of eating disorders and food insecurity. … more

These Are The Symptoms Of ARFID, An Eating Disorder Linked To Fear And Anxiety   Buzzfeed News (Apr 18, 2023) by Fjolla Arifi — “If there is texture or taste I did not expect, my heart would start racing and I would do anything in my power to prevent myself from swallowing.” Diana, 27 … begins panicking when eating certain foods …[which] trigger so much fear and anxiety … they have been impossible to consume. Diana has ARFID, or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, which is characterized by an inability to eat foods because of an aversion to the taste, smell, or texture; a fear of choking; or lack of interest in eating. … more

Many men have a problematic relationship with food – and I’m one of them   The Guardian (Mar 2, 2023) by Adrian Chiles — People often tell me that they don’t have an ‘off switch’ when it comes to drinking. I don’t have that problem, but it’s a different story when it comes to eating … more

Disordered eating is not only a disease of affluent girls   ScienceDaily (Jan 30, 2023) — Predominant stereotypes about eating disorders suggest that it is a condition mainly associated with girls from wealthy backgrounds. However, a new study found that boys living in disadvantaged circumstances are at an increased risk for disordered eating, particularly if they have underlying genetic risk factors. … more

I found healing for my eating disorder in the most unexpected place: The gym   Globe and Mail (Jan 15, 2023) by Lisa Shoemaker — For some people, the gym is a haven. Community. Release. Movement. For others, the gym is a nightmare. … The gym is full of people with bodies that look better, perform better and exist better than yours, and you can’t turn away because there are mirrors everywhere. … The gym, for me, was always about the extreme pursuit of thinness. … more

Just one hour of extra sleep each night can lead to better eating habits  Washington Post (Sept 13, 2022) by Anahad O’Connor — Studies show that sleep-deprived adults crave junk food, eat extra calories and have more unhealthy abdominal fat … In recent years, researchers have discovered that our sleep habits strongly influence the amount and types of foods we eat and even whether we gain or lose body fat. Losing sleep can trigger brain and hormonal changes that stimulate food cravings, which can drive us to consume more calories, especially from junk foods rich in fat and sugar. … more

‘You Don’t Look Anorexic’   New York Times (Oct 20, 2022) by Kate Siber — New research shows that our assumptions about eating disorders are often wrong — and that many larger-bodied people are starving themselves … Despite its prevalence, atypical anorexia is still considered widely underdiagnosed and under-researched, and many primary-care doctors have never heard of it … more

Distorted view: Depictions of people with eating disorders are extremely narrow. This can have serious consequences for those who don’t fit the stereotype. (Sept 18, 2022) by Natascia Lypny and photos by Hannah Crease-Maclean — Female. White. Young. Thin to the point of bones protruding. That’s likely what you imagine when you think of someone with an eating disorder … An estimated one million Canadians meet the diagnostic criteria for a form of eating disorder, according to Statistics Canada. But these harmful tropes about what an eating disorder looks like mean some people may not identify as having one or are reluctant to get help. … more

Wait times for eating disorder treatment in Canada grow during the pandemic   CBC News (Aug 1, 2022) by Stephanie Dubois — Psychologists, pediatricians, counsellors and others across the country said they’ve seen a jump in referrals throughout the pandemic for eating disorders. In many areas, that increase has resulted in longer wait times for publicly funded treatment. In some provinces, wait times for community-based and outpatient programs can be anywhere from six months to 18 months or longer. …Experts say timely treatment is important so that the behaviours of eating disorders don’t become entrenched. … more

Through My Eyes: ADHD and avoidant restrictive eating   Medical News Today (July 14, 2022) by Nadine Dirks — For as long as I can recall I have been quite averse to certain foods. I hated the consistency of tomatoes, the texture and smell of bananas, and the way yogurt was just smooth. …I just put it down to disliking certain foods — that was how my family saw it, too. … I couldn’t understand why it was such an uphill battle just to eat something. The sense of overwhelm was so severe that I would unconsciously avoid eating after experiencing a reaction to a particular food. I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid-20s, and up until that point had no idea I was neurodiverse. Suddenly everything made sense — difficulties at school, being too talkative, struggling with focus and concentration, overthinking and anxiety, so many elements of my life made sense.  … more

Putting calories on menus won’t solve obesity, but it will harm those of us with eating disorders   The Guardian (April 1, 2022) by Clare Finney – For many, restaurants are a place of refuge where calories are off the table. This new labelling policy will induce anxiety and stress. There was a time when counting my calorie intake was as easy as breathing. Though practically innumerate in maths classes, I could quickly tot up the calories I’d resisted, succumbed to and burned in a day. … more

This competitive skier survived an eating disorder. Now the Ontario teen is sharing her story to help others.  CBC (Mar 14, 2022) by Logan Turner — Brooke Ailey, 17, works with non-profit Fast and Female to raise awareness about eating disorders … Skiing and that competitive drive bring a lot of joy to Ailey … but it’s also caused harm. In August 2019, after her mother recognized possible symptoms and brought her to a doctor, Ailey was diagnosed with disordered eating. “For me, it became destructive when I started looking at my body in a negative way … just like this mentality that if I wanted to be better, I needed to be lighter or I needed to be leaner” … Ailey was diagnosed with orthorexia, which is when someone becomes consumed by thoughts of healthy eating to the point it becomes detrimental to one’s own health. … more

‘Why don’t you just stop?’: living with Australia’s most common eating disorder.   The Guardian (Feb 26, 2022) by Manuela Callari — Since Sam Ikin was a child his urge to devour food was out of his control. He didn’t want to be fat. “I wanted to look good. But the more I deprived myself of something, the more I craved it,” he says. … “You’re not conscious of the quantity that you’re eating, you just want to keep eating. And then once you finish what’s in front of you, you start thinking about what else there is,” he says. He would “come out of it” when he had run out of food, get interrupted or because he had got to the point where he simply could not eat any more. … more

The muscly guy at the gym may be at risk for an eating disorder, experts say.  CNN (Feb 21, 2022) by Madeline Holcombe — When Ryan Sheldon told his family he had an eating disorder, they chuckled in confusion. When he brought it up to his doctor, he was told they missed it because the doctor never would have thought he was at risk … Sheldon, 34 …  has wrestled with problems related to body image since he was 8 years old. When those problems developed into a concrete eating disorder, he had trouble identifying it and getting help in part because of the stereotype that eating disorders only happen in teenage girls. … more

More Teenage Girls With Eating Disorders Wound Up in the E.R. During the Pandemic.  New York Times (Feb 18, 2022) by Matt Richtel – A new C.D.C. study underscored the mental health issues facing teenagers in the past few years. During the pandemic, emergency rooms across the country reported an increase in visits from teenage girls dealing with eating and other disorders, including anxiety, depression and stress … more

Women losing their periods because of restrictive diets and excessive exercise. UK eating disorder charity Beat says problem, fuelled by social media, increasing even among those who are not underweight   The Guardian (Jan 6, 2022) by Sarah Marsh –  An increasing number of women are losing their monthly periods because they are following a social media trend for restrictive diets and excessive exercise, experts say. Charity heads and nutritionists have raised the alarm about the increase in hypothalamic amenorrhea, a condition where the body enters survival mode because it is under-fuelled, causing menstruation to stop. It is a reversible disorder caused by stress related to weight loss, excessive exercise and trauma. … more

‘I couldn’t stop.’ The pandemic is triggering eating disorders in our children   CNN (Feb 4, 2022) by Sandee LaMotte — Like many girls in high school, Ella (not her real name) had days where she struggled with self-esteem. “I was able to cope with it because I had sports, I had friends, and I had school. Then the pandemic hit in March (2020) and I lost all of that,” said Ella, who looks younger than her 15 years. … Ella said her need to exercise escalated. In June 2020, she told her mother she was losing weight. “It was almost like she was controlled by an alien,” Alice said. “One minute she’d be fine, but it you tried to get her to eat or stop exercising you would see in her eyes that she would become very intense. … more

Richard Osman reveals ‘difficult journey’ with food addiction: ‘Pointless’ presenter opens up on lifelong affliction, saying at times it had left him feeling ‘directionless’    The Guardian (Dec 26, 2021) — The Pointless presenter Richard Osman has revealed he suffers from a lifelong food addiction, but is endeavouring to destigmatise the shame surrounding the affliction. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Osman told about the “difficult journey” his addictive behaviour had led him on. He said: “There hasn’t been a day of my life since the age of nine where I haven’t thought about problems with food and how it affects me. … more

Study Finds Hospitalizations for Eating Disorders Doubled During the Pandemic (Nov 29, 2022) by Sophia Quaglia — Experts say this spike is likely due to heightened stress, isolation, social media use, and changes in interactions with family. … more

“Out of Control” Holiday Eating Could Be a Subjective Binge: A common but rarely discussed phenomenon in non-clinical and clinical samples.   Psychology Today (Nov 23, 2021) by Alli Spotts-De Lazzer  – Just in time for the 2021 holiday season, a new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders on November 11, 2021, provides in-depth, data-driven feedback on subjective binge episodes. “Lived experiences of subjective binge eating: An inductive thematic analysis” expands our understanding of this binge type. … more

Disordered Eating Among Male Elite Athletes: Why irregular eating patterns are often overlooked among men.  Eating Disorders Review (Sept/Oct 2021) Eating disorders and disordered eating are among the most common mental illnesses found among elite male and female athletes. Eating disorders are often associated with female elite athletes, but they are often overlooked among elite male athletes, according to Dr. Yannis Karrer and others at the University of Psychiatry, Zurich. After doing an extensive literature search, Dr. Karrer and others identified 80 studies of disordered eating and eating disorders among male elite athletes … more

Eating Disorders and Social Media Prove Difficult to Untangle.  New York Times (Oct 22, 2021) by Kate Conger, Kellen Browning and Erin Woo — Social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram try to monitor for content related to the problem, but it is not always clear what to do about it. A 27-year-old YouTube star, prodded by her millions of followers with concerns about her health. A 19-year-old TikTok creator who features posts about being skinny. Teen communities throughout the internet, cleverly naming and culling their discussions to avoid detection. They present a nearly intractable problem for social media companies under pressure to do something about material on their services that many people believe is causing harm, particularly to teenagers. … more

‘It spreads like a disease’: how pro-eating-disorder videos reach teens on TikTok   The Guardian (Oct 16, 2021) by Kari Paul — Instagram has attracted a firestorm after whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed internal research showing the platform downplayed proof of its toxic effects – including the rise of eating disorders – on children. But such issues are not limited to the Facebook-owned social media company. The Guardian has found a variety of harmful pro-anorexia hashtags remain searchable on the popular video-sharing app TikTok, where corresponding videos have billions of views combined. … more

“No, We Can’t Have Our Cake and Eat It Too: the Downside of Mindful Emotional Eating”   Gurze-Salucor Eating Disorders Resource Catalogue (Sept 8, 2021) by Karen R. Koenig — When I first heard about the concept of mindful emotional eating, I was okay with it. I even did a blurb for a book about it several years ago, as it seemed like a reasonable alternative—If you’re going to eat emotionally, why not do it mindfully? After all, eating is best done with consciousness, focus, awareness and an eye toward pleasure. But as time went by and I read more articles on mindful emotional eating and talked with clients and eating disorders colleagues about it, I started to view it differently: as a deterrent to “normal” eating. … more

Hope Virgo: the woman who survived anorexia – and began Dump the Scales   The Guardian/Interview (July 7, 2021) by Zoe Williams – Hospitalised with an eating disorder as a teenager, she recovered to become a campaigner. Her mission? To show that eating disorders aren’t always visible. Hope Virgo’s description of her descent into anorexia is so harrowing and filled with danger that meeting her in real life – in the south London flat she shares with her fiance – is like meeting the personification of triumph or optimism. … more

Pandemic has fueled eating disorder surge in teens, adults   AP News (May 23, 2021) by Lindsey Tanner – Many hospital beds are full. Waiting lists for outpatient treatment are bulging. And teens and adults seeking help for eating disorders are often finding it takes months to get an appointment. … more

Eating Disorders in Teens Have ‘Exploded’ in the Pandemic: Here’s what parents need to know.  New York Times (Apr 28, 2021) by Lisa Damour – As a psychologist who cares for adolescents I am well aware of the prevalence of eating disorders among teenagers. Even still, I am stunned by how much worse the situation has become in the pandemic. … more

This is what it’s like for men with eating disorders   Buzzfeed News (February 6, 2021) by Elamin Abdelmahmoud — “A lot of these guys are just excessively, compulsively exercising. We sometimes have people going to the gym, I kid you not, for 10 hours a day.” … Between the rise of Instagram and TikTok, and the supremacy of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the last two decades have seen an acceleration in media and technological forces that distort men’s body images. Now, young men are inundated with the pressure to have Captain America’s washboard abs and bodies devoid of an ounce of body fat. The V shape — broad shoulders, six-pack abs, smaller waist — has become the male body ideal. Even men who are famous for their ripped physiques aren’t immune from the shaming that comes with those pressures.  … more

‘Shadow pandemic’ of young people with eating disorders a challenge for health networks to treat   The Globe and Mail (Jan 20, 2021) by Caroline Alphonso — More children and teens are suffering from eating disorders than ever before, according to Canada’s largest pediatric hospital, as social isolation caused by school disruptions and limits on extracurricular activities takes a toll. Children as young as 9 and 10 are being treated for eating disorders. Pediatricians say many of their new patients are sicker and more underweight than those typically seen before the pandemic, while the wait time for outpatient referrals has doubled to six months. … more

Study links eating disorders with body dysmorphia: Research finds rate of body dysmorphia is 12 times higher among gymgoers with eating issues   ScienceDaily (Oct 13, 2020) – People with eating disorders are 12 times more likely to be preoccupied with perceived flaws in their physical appearance than those without, according to new research. … 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

A new anti-obesity coronavirus campaign is a nightmare for eating disorder sufferers (Aug 13, 2020) by Zamira Rahim – Boris Johnson’s latest strategy to fight coronavirus aims to make Britain healthier — but campaigners are worried about the impact the policy will have on people living with eating disorders. Johnson’s government launched its Better Health strategy in an effort to combat the country’s high obesity levels amid the pandemic. Britain has one of the highest rates of obesity worldwide, with nearly one in three adults classed as obese, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). … more

Ed Sheeran reminds us that eating disorders affect men, too    The Guardian (July 29, 2020) by Arwa Mahdawi – Problematic relationships with food are not ‘female’ afflictions – and the more male celebrities who speak honestly about their experiences, the better. here is no amusing or pleasant way to say this: Ed Sheeran used to binge on junk food until he vomited. In a candid interview with Hay House, a US self-help publisher, the singer talked about struggling with anxiety, addiction and body image problems at the height of his career. Sheeran said that he had been reading Elton John’s autobiography and saw a lot of his behaviour reflected in it. “There are so many things that he did that I do. He would be like: ‘I would just go on an ice-cream binge and eat four fucking desserts until I threw up,’ and I was like: ‘I’ve done that before.’” … more

Coronavirus Presents New Challenges For Those With Eating Disorders — Here’s How Survivors Are Seeking Out Support Online   Time (Apr 22, 2020) by Cady Lang – Staying home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus has brought major life changes for many. For those who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, social isolating can pose a serious risk to their recovery.  … more

Nine Truths about Weight and Eating Disorders   AED Academy for Eating Disorders (2020) – Weight is influenced by multiple factors, including biological, psychological, behavioral, social, and economic factors. … more

For restricted eaters, a place at the table but not the meal   ScienceDaily (Dec 24, 2019) – People with restricted diets — due to allergies, health issues or religious or cultural norms — are more likely to feel lonely when they can’t share in what others are eating, new research shows. … more

Social media use linked to teen disordered eating behaviors   Physicians Weekly/Reuters Health (Dec 13, 2109) by Lisa Rapaport – Adolescents who are active on social media may be more likely to exercise excessively, skip meals or develop other forms of disordered eating, a U.S. study suggests. … more

Network Analysis of Males and Eating Disorder Symptoms  Gurze-Salucor ED Catalogue (Nov 3, 2019) by Lauren Forrest, MA … Our study identified specific eating disorder symptoms that may be the main drivers of eating disorders in men. To do this, our symptom network included items that are typically used to assess eating disorders, while also including items that capture experiences that seem to be important to men’s experiences, such as items related to male (vs. female) body ideals. … more

Avoidant, Restrictive Eating Often Confused With Anorexia   Medscape (Oct 29, 2019) by Marcia Frellick – The Patients with avoidant, restrictive food intake disorder need special attention and referral, but many specialists don’t understand the condition, new research shows … The hallmark of avoidant, restrictive food intake disorder, commonly known as ARFID — which became an official diagnosis when the DSM-5 was published 6 years ago — is when food restrictions “spiral out of control,” she told Medscape Medical News. Many patients eat only five to 15 foods, and some describe “catastrophic” fears of choking, she pointed out. … more

Bulimia Tied to Increased CVD, Early Death Risk   Medscape (Oct 28, 2019) by Pauline Anderson – Women with bulimia serious enough to require hospitalization have about a fourfold increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and premature death, new research shows. Clinicians should be aware that bulimia is not something that goes away once treated, study investigator Nathalie Auger, MD, physician researcher at University of Montreal Hospital Research Center, Quebec, Canada, told Medscape Medical News. “This is a long-standing problem that impacts women throughout their lives,” she said. … more

Evidence of behavioral, biological similarities between compulsive overeating and addiction   ScienceDaily (Oct 17, 2019) – Does yo-yo dieting drive compulsive eating? There may be a connection. According to researchers the chronic cyclic pattern of overeating followed by undereating, reduces the brain’s ability to feel reward and may drive compulsive eating. This finding suggests that future research into treatment of compulsive eating behavior should focus on rebalancing the mesolimbic dopamine system — the part of the brain responsible for feeling reward or pleasure. … more

When Efforts To Eat ‘Clean’ Become An Unhealthy Obsession   NPR/The Salt (Oct 7, 2019) by April Fulton –  Orthorexia occurs when people become so fixated on the idea of eating “cleanly,” or choosing only whole foods in their natural state, that they end up imperiling their physical and mental health. Sometimes this means missing critical nutrients or not getting enough calories. … more

Three studies reveal noteworthy trends regarding eating disorders in the U.S.  Medical Press (Oct 1, 2019) – A School of Public Health professor has been extensively researching eating disorders in the United States and has found trends that warrant increased screening for the disorders. … that only half of people with eating disorders seek help, that certain demographics are less likely than others to seek help, and that persons with eating disorders have a five- to six-fold higher risk of suicide attempts. … more

Some Teens Who Exercise to Build Muscle Might Have Eating Disorders   Medscape/Reuters Health (July 12, 2019) by Lisa Rapaport – Some teens who see themselves as puny and exercise to gain weight may be more likely to develop so-called muscularity-related eating disorders, a U.S. study suggests. … more

Calorie counting apps ‘can exacerbate eating disorders‘  BBC News (July 4, 2019) — Calorie counting app creators have been criticised for allowing the platforms to be misused by people with eating disorders. The BBC found content logging self-harm and punishments for over-eating on MyFitnessPal, Lose It! and Lifesum. Eating disorder charity Beat said the mobile apps could exacerbate unhealthy behaviours and make recovery harder. … more

BED and Food Addiction  Eating Disorders Review (Vol.30/No.1) – It’s unclear how binge eating disorder (BED) and the newer concept of food addiction are related. BED is very commonly assessed by eating disorder professionals; food addiction, somewhat less often. A new tool, the Yale Food Addiction Scale, has been developed to assess for food addiction (Gearhardt and colleagues, 2011). This scale measures addictive qualities of eating behavior. It was recently revised to become the YFAS 2.0, adjusted for changes to the diagnostic criteria from DSM 5. … more

When It Comes To Race, Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate   NPR (Mar 3, 2019) by Shereen Marisol Meraji – Karla Mosley wants you to know that people with eating disorders look like her too. “I’m a woman of color and I certainly didn’t know that people like me had eating disorders,” she says. “I thought it was a white, rich, female, adolescent disorder.” Only one of those identifiers fits Mosley who’s black and binged and purged for years. But Mosley, an actor and a regular on the day time soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, is sharing her story of battling bulimia and getting her health back. … more

Underdiagnosed Male Eating Disorders Are Becoming Increasingly Identified   NPR (Mar 2, 2019) by Michel Martin and Amanda Morris – The In a recent episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, journalist Soledad O’Brien introduces viewers to 24-year-old Logan Davis. Davis sports a classic hockey helmet haircut: his brown hair is long, reaching to his ears and sticking out to the side. Viewers first see Davis in his element: on the ice, tending a goalie net in his Ohio State Buckeye’s college hockey uniform. Playing hockey had been his passion since he was 5, and being a starter goalie for a Big Ten hockey conference team as a college freshman was nothing short of a dream come true for Davis. Davis’ drive propelled him to hockey stardom. That same drive pushed him to develop an eating disorder. … more

Many female athletes struggle with eating disorders. These women want to change that.  NBC News (Feb 28, 2019) by Amanda Loudin – These runners are enlisting parents, coaches, doctors — and the rest of us — to help start a conversation and reduce the stigma and prevalence of eating disorders. It’s been two years since three runners banded together to found the Lane 9 Project in order to bring awareness to the prevalence of eating disorders among athletes. In that time, 32-year old Heather Caplan, 27-year old Alexis Fairbanks and 24-year old Samantha Strong, have played an integral role in doing just that. All three women suffered from hypothalamic amenorrhea — lack of menstruation — as a result of unhealthy relationships with food and sport. … more

Hospital admissions for eating disorders surge to highest in eight years. Campaigners raise alarm about growing crisis of young people with anorexia and bulimia   The Guardian (Feb 15, 2019) by Sarah Marsh – There has been a dramatic rise in hospital admissions for potentially life-threatening eating disorders in the last year, prompting concern from experts about a growing crisis of young people experiencing anorexia and bulimia. … more

How Self-Induced Vomiting Impacts Your Body   Gurze-Salucor Eating Disorders Research Catalogue (Jan 4, 2019) by Pamela Keel, PhD — In a 1980 article titled “Self-Induced Vomiting,” Dr. Christopher Fairburn detailed the emotional and physical consequences of self-induced vomiting in four case studies … Today, we understand that vomiting occurs in several eating disorders, including the binge-purge subtype of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and purging disorder.  Further, recurrent self-induced vomiting to control weight is reported by approximately 1 in 50 adolescent girls and 1 in 500 adolescent boys.  This makes self-induced vomiting a prevalent problem and underscores the importance of identifying how it impacts your body … more

Food Insecurity Linked to Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity    Medscape (Jan 2, 2019) by Fran Lowry – Food insecurity stems from limited financial resources, yet paradoxically, it is associated with binge eating disorder (BED) and excess weight, new research shows. … more

Binge eating and smoking linked to bullying and sexual abuse  ScienceDaily (Jan 11, 2019) – People who ever suffered bullying or sexual abuse have a lower quality of life similar to those living with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression or severe anxiety, a new study has found. They are also far more likely to display harmful behaviours like smoking dependence and binge eating. … more

Update: Cyberbullying Increases Eating Disorder Risk  Eating Disorders Review (Vol. 29 / No. 6) – Studies of nonclinical samples have shown an association between cyberbullying and negative emotions, low self-esteem, unhealthy eating behaviors, and body dissatisfaction. … more

Rates of Eating Disorders Similar for US Boys, Girls Aged 9-10  Medscape / Reuters Health (Nov 29, 2018) by Anne Harding — There are no gender differences in rates of eating disorders (EDs) among 9- and 10-year-olds, according to a new U.S. study. … more

Compulsive exercise in eating disorders: proposal for a definition and a clinical assessment   Journal of Eating Disorders (Nov 28, 2018) by Nina Dittmer, Corinna Jacobi and Ulrich Voderholzer – Compulsive exercise has been recognized as a highly prevalent symptom in eating disorders (ED) for over 100 years and is associated with poor short-term and long-term treatment outcome. Progress in understanding and treatment of compulsive exercise will remain limited as long as no consensus framework for definition and assessment of compulsive exercise exists, as results cannot be compared across clinical studies. … more

More Clues to Binge Eating Emerge  Eating Disorders Review (Vol 29/No. 5) – Orexin neurons, a small group of cells in the hypothalamus, appear to be a promising target for medications for controlling binge-eating episodes in individuals with obesity, according to scientists at the Brain Health Institute at Rutgers University and the State University of New Jersey. These neurons have previously been shown to be important for addiction to drugs such as cocaine. … more

Recognizing Eating Disorders in Time to Help   New York Times (Jul 30, 2018) by Jane E. Brody – Experts say an eating disorder should not be considered normal adolescent behavior, and they urge adults to try to stop the problem before it becomes entrenched … more

Eating Disorders: Are We Missing Men and Minorities?   Medscape (May 11, 2018) by B.S. Yasgur, MA, LSW CME and C.P. Vega, MD, FAAFP – … EDs are underdiagnosed and undertreated in men, minorities, normal and higher-weight individuals, and those who are not affluent, new research shows. Investigators studied college students across the country and found that women were almost 5 times more likely than men to be diagnosed with EDs and that white students were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed as students of color …. more

Could this study explain the mechanism behind binge eating?   MNT Medical News Today (Apr 11, 2018) by Maria Cohut – Binge eating is closely linked to obesity; it establishes a vicious cycle of unhealthful diet-related habits. What is the mechanism behind binge eating, though? A new study conducted in mice might bring us a step closer to answering this question. … more

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

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