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Posted in Articles, Eating Disorders

Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is more than just a troubled relationship with food. It is an illness that can leave devastation in its wake. And with an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men suffering from an eating disorder at some point in their life, it’s a good bet that you know someone dealing with one — perhaps yourself.

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Posted in Articles, Eating Disorders

Kids With ADHD at Higher Risk for Eating Disorders

Recent research has suggested a connection between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and adult binge eating disorder. Now, a new study from Johns Hopkins University shows that there may also be a connection between childhood ADHD and loss of control eating syndrome (LOC-ES).

Loss of control eating syndrome is a proposed diagnostic category for children between the ages of 6 and 12. It shares many of the same diagnostic criteria as binge eating disorder, which is typically diagnosed in adults. Both conditions are characterized by times when individuals lose control over their eating and are unable to stop. 

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Surprising Risk Factors for Orthorexia in Young Women

Several factors help predict the presence of the unofficial eating disorder known as orthorexia nervosa in young women, according to recent findings from a group of Polish, Italian and Australian researchers.

People with orthorexia nervosa have an obsession or preoccupation with healthy eating that destabilizes mental well-being and/or damages the ability to function in everyday life. In a study published in early 2015 in the Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers from two Polish institutions, one Italian institution and one Australian institution sought to determine if young men and young women have identifiable risk factors that increase their chances of developing this condition. The researchers found several risk factors for the onset of orthorexia in young women, but found no such factors for young men.

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Eating Disorders May Impact Women’s Long-Term Socioeconomic Stability

Women who struggled with disordered eating during adolescence may suffer negative socioeconomic consequences during their early adulthood, according to a new study from the University of Utah.

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Understanding ARFID: The Newest Eating Disorder

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) may not be a new problem, but it is the newest form of disordered eating to be recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. ARFID was included for the first time in the DSM-5, which was published in May 2013.

Disordered eating has been present in the DSM since the publication of the first edition of the manual in 1952. That edition included anorexia nervosa, which was categorized as a neurotic illness. The second edition in 1968 saw anorexia classified alongside other “feeding disturbances” such as pica—the desire to eat nonfood substances. Bulimia nervosa was added to the third edition of the DSM, which was published in 1980.

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Eating Disorders Can Disguise Themselves as Healthy Weight Loss

We now understand that people suffering from eating disorders do not have to fit the severely underweight stereotype associated with anorexia nervosa. Unfortunately, this means that it can be even more difficult to recognize and properly diagnose people who are suffering from these potentially life-threatening illnesses.

One of the most insidious realities that we have come to recognize about eating disorders is that they can appear to all but the most perceptive experts to be healthy weight loss. In a society that places high value on being thin, anyone who is able to go from an above-average size and weight to that which is seen as a normal “healthy” weight is likely to generate kudos rather than concern. People are more likely to ask for your dieting secrets and congratulate you on your self-discipline than to realize that you are starving yourself.

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Study Examines New Approach to Treating Eating Disorders

The development of an eating disorder is believed by experts to have both a biological and an environmental component. The mix of the two influences may differ based on the individual, but there are certain factors that significantly increase a person’s risk of developing an eating disorder.

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Female Athletes at High Risk for Eating Disorders

The eating disorder risk that female athletes face is intuitive and counter-intuitive at the same time. On the one hand, it’s natural to assume that athletes know how to take care of their bodies as well or better than anyone else in the world. On the other hand, many athletes are under great pressure to train harder and longer than anyone else or to keep their body weight as low as possible. In a recent study of college students, eating disorders were three times as common in athletes compared to non-athletes. The incidence of eating disorders is likely even higher among professional athletes, where the stakes are more substantial and the pressure to perform even greater.

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Fat Talk Isn’t Just for Young Women, Research Finds

Fat talk is a term that mental health professionals sometimes use to describe spoken statements that emphasize concerns about one’s weight or make negative comparisons with other people’s weight. While many of these statements seem superficially harmless, current evidence indicates that they contribute significantly to a state of mind called body dissatisfaction. In turn, the presence of significant body dissatisfaction increases the chances that a person will develop some form of eating disorder. In a study published in 2013 in the Journal of Eating Disorders, a multinational research team concluded that women continue to engage in high levels of fat talk until they reach their 60s.

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Brain Stimulation May Provide Relief for Treatment-Resistant Anorexia

Experts say that of all mental disorders, anorexia is potentially the most deadly. Despite attempts at therapy, many cases have been impervious to treatment. A new exploratory technique may help those suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant anorexia.

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