Check out our blog for latest news and findings regarding eating disorders, including possible causes and cures, ways to support suffers through their recovery, and stories from survivors about their experiences.

Author Describes Symptoms of Anorexia, Bulimia

An estimated ten of every 100 teenage girls struggles with either anorexia or bulimia. Despite widespread efforts by medical professionals, educators, and parents, this figure hasn’t changed much in the last several years.

In an article on, author Doreen Nagle discussed how learning to spot signs of an eating disorder can ensure that a teen gets much-needed help:

  • Anorexia nervosa: A teen who is a perfectionist and super high achiever in school or other activities.
  • With that said, [the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry] says that this teen likely has low self-esteem and irrationally believes herself to be overweight when she is clearly too thin.
  • Seeking control over her life, anorexic teens find it in being able to say "No" to food. This lack of nutrition often leads to serious health disorders.
  • In bulimia, the sufferer binges on foods (often high-calorie foods) and then purges by forcing herself to vomit or by using laxatives.
  • Often, the bulimic will indulge in odd diets resulting in weight fluctuations.
  • Self-induced purging is a serious concern since it robs the body of necessary nutrition, can damage organs and cause dehydration.

Labels: bulimia, signs_of_eating_disorders, anorexia

Posted By: Eating Disorders Help Guide 0 Comments

Spanish Gov't Limits Viewers' Exposure to Weight Loss Ads

In an effort to resist the negative impact that unhealthy media images are having on the self-esteem of young television viewers, the Spanish government has banned broadcasters from airing ads for cosmetic surgery, slimming products and beauty products before 10 p.m.

A March 9 article on the website provided the following details about the legislation:

The law basically does not allow adverts that encourage over emphasis on body image and that have a negative impact on self worth. The original proposal included a ban on adverts for low calorie food but this was rejected.

The aim of this ban is to reduce the amount of teenagers affected by mental issues such as anorexia and bulimia. However, Spanish series on the TV also affect teenagers as they portray young skinny women who teenagers aspire too.

In Spain, success and good looks are firmly linked and as a result Spain produces the most amount of aesthetic surgeries in Europe. This has become known as "cult of the body."

Labels: media_influences, legislation

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London College Create Eating Disorders Course for Parents

Effective early treatment is paramount in a person's battle against anorexia, and the support of loved ones is a key part of that treatment. But friends and family members are often unsure of exactly how to be supportive.

"King's College London has begun a course to give carers necessary skills. The Collaborative Caring Course teaches the necessary skills to understanding eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and the consequential behavioral changes."

The free course is being run by Professor Janet Treasure of the Eating Disorder Research Unit, who hopes it will help family members not only to deal with the affects of eating disorders, but also to help encourage change in the sufferer. Source: BBC

Labels: treatment, support, behaviors

Posted By: Staff Writer 0 Comments

Can Potential for Eating DIsorders be Identified in Children?

The old saying goes that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". That's especially true of serious illnesses like eating disorders. Learning to recognize the signs that a young person may be prone to developing an eating disorder can help avert a potentially deadly condition.

"The researchers [from University College Dublin] went back to look at data from the 2002 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study involving 2,649 children. This showed that 32[percent] of the adolescents were underweight and, of this group, one in 10 'thought they were fat'."

The latter group, which also were more likely to choose a large silhouette as "mirroring" their body image, was identified as being at risk of developing an eating disorder.

This group was also generally more unhappy, more dissatisfied with life and more likely to perceive themselves as 'not good looking'.

Though they're general indicators, they can help identify a young person with self-image issues serious enough to lead to an eating disorder.

Labels: diagnosis, awareness, prevention

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Parental Involvement Improves Bulimia Care

A University of Chicago Medical Center team has found that adolescents who seek treatment for bulimia significantly increase their chances for recovery if their parents are involved in the process.

The randomized study involved 80 adolescents, half of which were assigned family-based treatment while the other half were assigned standard treatment.

"In the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry [the] team... shows that almost 40 percent of participants in family-based treatment had stopped binging and purging compared to only 18 percent of those who received... the standard therapy. Six-months after treatment, almost 30 percent of participants who received family-based treatment were still abstinent compared to only 10 percent of participants who received supportive psychotherapy..."

The family-based therapy included clinic sessions with the patient and family members, while parents received instructions on to follow-up and encourage their children at home. The study shows that parents are uniquely positioned to help their children recovery from this potentially deadly eating disorder.

Labels: family, support, therapy

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 0 Comments

The Effects of Weight-Based Sports

The media gets most of the blame for triggering eating disorders in young people. But a recent study at the University of Minnesota has found that teens who participate in weight-based sports are more likely to use unhealthy means of weight management/control than teens who aren't involved in weight-based sports.

"After analyzing the data, researchers found males are more likely to participate in weight-based sports than females. They also found males in weight-based sports are 5.7-times more likely to vomit in a given week than males not involved in weight-based sports, and these young men are six-times more likely to use diuretics to control their weight."

Weight-based sports include activities like ballet, wrestling, and gymnastics. The study was conducted using a survey which was administered to 4,746 students at 31 public high schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. 

Labels: wrestling, gymnastics, ballet

Posted By: Aspen Education Group 0 Comments

Distorted Body Images Manifests Differently in Men, Women

Men and women are different is so many other ways, it may not come as a surprise that their responses to body image issues are different as well. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 222 women and 151 men were observed.

"'In a nutshell,' [Kristen] Harrison said, 'we found that, following exposure to ideal-body images, men who are insecure about their bodies eat more in front of other men, while women who are insecure about their bodies eat less in front of other women.'"

Though the differences in eating habits where slight, they came after less than 45 minutes of exposure to "ideal-body" images and text. Multiplied by the thousands of hours of exposure each year, there's potential for the development of serious eating disorders. Read more at

Labels: body image

Posted By: Stefanie Hamilton 0 Comments

Researchers Reveal Possible Genetic Cause of Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is among the most challenging mental disorders for rehab facilities to treat successfully. Many individuals who suffer from the condition simply relapse after completing treatment. Now, a new study has found that genetics may be at the heart of this grim reality.

A team of researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia analyzed genetic data from more than 1,000 participants with anorexia. The information was compared to data from individuals who did not have the condition.

The researchers found that individuals who suffered from anorexia had certain genetic variants in common. The findings confirm smaller studies conducted previously among twins, which showed common genetic markers among individuals with the disorder.

While anorexia is relatively rare, it affects a disproportionate number of women. In addition to explaining the association among families, the results of the study could clear up the reasons behind these gender differences.

Researchers said that the findings could help them determine through hereditary associations individuals who are at the greatest risk of developing anorexia. This could make it easier for these individuals to seek treatment from rehab facilities in the earliest stages of the condition, while it is most treatable.

Labels: anorexia, genes

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