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.

Young Disordered Eaters Often Suffer in Silence

A 2006 study conducted by the National Eating Disorders Association found that nearly one in five college students admitted to having suffered from an eating disorder. Despite this high number, though, few students ask for help.

Students' silence speaks to disordered thinking that characterizes the disease. "The nature of eating disorders ... is that there's a big period of denial," [Mary Commerford, director of Furman Counseling Center at Barnard] said. "Literally 'I'm doing this, it's normal, I don't have a problem.'" Source: Columbia (University) Spectator

Students who struggled with an eating disorder prior to college are especially at risk, because the added pressures of collegiate life make overcoming the disorders more difficult. Fear of their disorder becoming public also keeps many young disordered eaters from seeking help.

But getting help for an eating disorder can be as close as a confidential conversation with a counselor or an online discussion with an expert in the field. These simple steps can help a student get on the road to recovery and healthy living.

Labels: eating disorders, colleges, counseling, students

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Self-Esteem Initiatives Designed to Promote 'Real Beauty' Among Teens

The unrealistic standards of "beauty" that have been perpetuated by Hollywood and the media are part of what prompted Dove to create two programs: The Dove Self-Esteem Fund (DSEF) and the Campaign for Real Beauty.

The slogan of the Campaign for Real Beauty is "Imagine a World Where Beauty is a Source of Confidence, Not Anxiety."

"Through DSEF, Dove, along with the Girl Scouts of the USA, conduct self-esteem workshops and after school events for girls ages eight through 17. At these programs, girls participate in at least an hour-long educational program that teaches each of them about a positive self-image."

The workshops are partially funded through profits from the sale of Dove products. The Campaign for Real Beauty includes not only TV commercials, but on-line videos that show how images of models are manipulated to make them look "perfect".

The campaign has posted information, videos and more online at www.campaignforrealbeauty.com.

Labels: media_influences, self-esteem, self-image_issues

Posted By: Aspen Education Group 0 Comments

Class Teaches Media Literacy and Healthy Eating

Middle-schoolers in Santa Cruz, California recently learned something shocking; those picture-perfect images they see of models in magazines are "digitally enhanced". It's one of many lessons the group of girls is learning in an after-school class focused on teaching them the truth about the media while simultaneously helping them learn to eat healthy.

"The class seeks to boost girls' self-esteem and help them to make healthier choices. In addition to learning to critically examine media images of women, girls engaged in role-playing, art, discussions and yoga. They discussed healthy food choices and learned to distinguish when they were really hungry from when they were lonely or had some other need."

The class was developed at Harvard Medical School and is being called "one of the most promising and extensively researched eating disorder prevention programs..." Read more at SantaCruzSentinel.com.

Labels: media_influences, self-esteem, education

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Experts Investigate Sleep Eating

Researchers at the Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders are studying a baffling eating disorder called "sleep-eating." Much like sleep-walking, sleep-eating sufferers are alert enough to respond to questions but are not aware that they binge-eat while asleep.

"During testing, researchers found one woman munching on brownies in her sleep. After each bite, she used her pinky to shove any remaining bits in her mouth... Another woman captured on tape gulped a soda after eating in her sleep."

Sleep experts believe sleep-eating is caused by a problem with the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls "basic behaviors."


Labels: brain_chemistry, binge_eating, sleep

Posted By: Aspen Education Group 0 Comments

Emotional Eating Often Overlooked

People who talk about eating disorders talk most often about disorders like anorexia and bulimia. But emotional eating disorders affect as many as 25-30% of Americans. And though the problem is often overlooked, the results can be just as devastating.

"When people eat for emotional reasons, they eat to manage and forget uncomfortable feelings, such as sadness, loneliness, grief, worthlessness, hopelessness, anger, anxiety, guilt and shame."

The problem is that eating to manage these emotions often just makes the emotions stronger. There are questions you can ask yourself, or a loved one, if you're concerned about an emotional eating issue. 

Labels: emotional eating

Posted By: Eating Disorders Help Guide 0 Comments