Links for Keyword: Anorexia & Bulimia

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By Susan Burton I ordered heritage flour from Minnesota and made a loaf of bread with a crackling crust. Those are facts. But what is the tone of that sentence? Am I bragging about my baking prowess, my ingredient sourcing, and the privilege that allows me to spend the pandemic in the kitchen? Or is the sentence a setup to a tear-down of entitlement? Or the beginning of an essay about an activity that brings many, including me, comfort amid uncertainty? All of these; none of them. Really I am writing that sentence the way I have always written any sentence about food: As someone with an eating disorder, someone who is working toward recovery but is not yet recovered. Stay-at-home orders present special challenges for people with eating disorders. The kitchen is always there: You can’t get away from it. You can’t get away from food online, either, where it’s more present than ever: Sourdough starters and bean shortages and the ease with which people with healthier, typical relationships with food joke about these things, or fill their Instagrams with photos of family meals. I don’t begrudge others that ease; I long for it. Eating disorders are isolating. They are often misunderstood, perceived as the kind of thing you could get over if you just got a grip. Right now, many in our country are suffering profoundly, facing death and loss of livelihoods. Being able to afford food is a marker of privilege. Shouldn’t our primary relationship with food be one of gratitude for it? It’s not that simple for people with eating disorders. For someone with an active eating disorder, food can be an agent of destruction. For someone in recovery, isolation can prompt a shift to old coping mechanisms. Eating disorder outreach has risen online: On Instagram, @covid19eatingsupport provides “meal support” — somebody to eat with. The National Eating Disorders Association offers video sessions that explore subjects such as family dynamics during quarantine and eating disorders during midlife. © 2020 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 27246 - Posted: 05.14.2020

By Jennifer Couzin-Frankel In college in the 1990s, Alix Timko wondered why she and her friends didn’t have eating disorders. “We were all in our late teens, early 20s, all vaguely dissatisfied with how we looked,” says Timko, now a psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her crowd of friends matched the profile she had seen in TV dramas—overachievers who exercised regularly and whose eating was erratic, hours of fasting followed by “a huge pizza.” “My friends and I should have had eating disorders,” she says. “And we didn’t.” It was an early clue that her understanding of eating disorders was off the mark, especially for the direst diagnosis of all: anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is estimated to affect just under 1% of the U.S. population, with many more who may go undiagnosed. The illness manifests as self-starvation and weight loss so extreme that it can send the body into a state resembling hibernation. Although the disorder also affects boys and men, those who have it are most often female, and about 10% of those affected die. That’s the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric condition after substance abuse, on par with that of childhood leukemia. With current treatments, about half of adolescents recover, and another 20% to 30% are helped. As a young adult, Timko shared the prevailing view of the disease: that it develops when girls, motivated by a culture that worships thinness, exert extreme willpower to stop themselves from eating. Often, the idea went, the behavior arises in reaction to parents who are unloving, controlling, or worse. But when Timko began to treat teens with anorexia and their families, that narrative crumbled—and so did her certainties about who is at risk. Many of those young people “don’t have body dissatisfaction, they weren’t on a diet, it’s not about control,” she found. “Their mom and dad are fabulous and would move heaven and Earth to get them better.” © 2020 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 27181 - Posted: 04.10.2020

By Abby Sher The rules were simple. Whenever Madonna sang, we strutted our stuff up and down the matted blue carpet. If the music stopped, we struck a pose in front of the full-length mirror. “Your face is crooked!” my friend Diana shrieked. “Your legs are 10 feet long!” I yelled back. It wasn’t an insult; it was true. The mirror in my bedroom was old and warped, like in a fun house. We spent hours in front of it, jutting out our hips and crossing our eyes; laughing at how ugly we looked. How round and pointy, long and short we could be, all at the same time. I don’t know exactly when it became painful for me to look at my reflection. Maybe when I was told to cover the mirrors in our house for my father’s funeral (a Jewish tradition). I was 11 at the time and couldn’t understand how these pale lips and string bean legs of mine were here, while my dad was forever gone. So I kept staring at my body in that glass, feeling a new kind of grief and confusion rip through me. A few weeks later, I started junior high, where looks were everything. I used a mirror so I could run turquoise eyeliner across my lids or zero in on a blooming pimple. But I got more and more frustrated by what I saw. My splotchy skin and bushy eyebrows felt untamable; my arms too long. By high school, I grew out my frizzy bangs to hide my face and wore baggy overalls with a tiny cowbell around my neck, as if I were lost in the fields and needed to find my way home. It wasn’t until after college that I dove headlong into an eating disorder. There was no definitive moment where I said, I’m going to try starving myself today. Instead it was a gradual whittling away at my body. I became obsessed with shrinking myself down to a size 0; spending hours at the gym until I was dizzy and frantic, fueling myself on coffee and sugarless gum. © 2020 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 14: Attention and Consciousness
Link ID: 27068 - Posted: 02.25.2020

Jules Montague In a dark, nondescript room tucked away in the depths of a London research centre, Lucy Gallop is demonstrating how we might treat eating disorders in future. Improbably, she presses on a pedal under a desk, like a driver pulling away in first gear. Magnetic pulses pass through an electromagnetic coil which is held to a patient’s head. Clicking sounds fill the room and the patient’s neural activity is temporarily altered over the course of a few minutes. A brain scan is visible to her right, the target area already visualised. “The neuronavigation tells you whether or not you’re at the right place,” Gallop says of the process, known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). “It’s replicable so you know when the participants come in the next time, you’re stimulating the same area.” Gallop’s work carries deep personal significance: “My sister had anorexia so I was exposed to family therapy from a young age. And truthfully, it really exposed me to how treatment is very difficult – making a full recovery from anorexia is very difficult.” New treatment innovations are urgently needed for eating disorders, which affect an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK. Hospital admissions have almost doubled in the last six years and patients are sent hundreds of miles away from home for treatment. Earlier this month, new figures showed that one in six consultant posts in eating disorder services are vacant. Patients with eating disorders are twice as likely to die prematurely than the general population. © 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 26719 - Posted: 10.18.2019

By Jessica Hamzelou Anorexia nervosa isn’t just a psychiatric condition – it is a metabolic one, too, according to a genetic study of around 72,500 people. The findings help to explain some of the symptoms of anorexia, and could help to shape future treatments. Anorexia affects between 0.9 and 4 per cent of women and 0.3 per cent of men, but is still poorly understood. “Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder,” says Cynthia Bulik at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We’re not very good at treating anorexia. There’s no medication, and that’s probably because we don’t understand the underlying causes.” Previous research has found that genetic factors, as well as environmental ones, can increase a person’s risk of anorexia. To investigate, Bulik and her colleagues compared the genomes of just under 17,000 people with anorexia with those of 55,500 people who didn’t have the condition. The team used a technique that applies thousands of markers to the genome, and compares these markers across all the volunteers. “It points you to where in the genome the differences lie,” says Bulik. The search pinpointed eight locations across the genome that seem to play a role in anorexia. But this is likely to represent only a tiny fraction of all the genetic factors involved in the condition, says Bulik. “It’s a complex trait, so we expect lots of genes to each have a small to moderate effect,” she says. © Copyright New Scientist Ltd.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 26424 - Posted: 07.16.2019

By Thomas Stackpole The run happened — or didn’t — maybe five days into the raw-diet experiment. I had formed a sort of fitness pact with a friend to forgo cooked food, and after days of nothing but salads, almonds, sashimi and black coffee, my body felt taut and ready for action. And for about half a mile, it was, my strides floating above the pavement as a few fistfuls of raw kale percolated in my belly. Then suddenly I sputtered, feeling an unambiguous alarm go off: Tank is empty, sorry, this is the end of the line. After a pause, I tried running again but made it maybe a block before my legs revolted again and I slowed to a walk. My new healthy diet, it seemed, didn’t accommodate any actual exercise. When I told all this to my co-workers the next morning, it was fodder for a good laugh. My obsessions were — and often still are — a kind of running joke. I’ve been conducting a series of shifting and poorly planned “wellness” experiments on myself for about a decade. I’ve eaten keto, low-carb and sometimes not at all. One time, I ate almost nothing but lean ground turkey and broccoli over greens for maybe two months as part of a YouTube bodybuilder’s plan. More than once, I’ve lost 10 pounds in a week. I’ve also obsessed over bulking up, gaining 25 pounds over about six months of lifting, before pivoting and deciding to train for a marathon to run it off. Then there were the gut biome vitamins, the metabolism-boosting mushrooms, the experiments with LSD microdosing and calorie trackers. Despite years of cycling through boutique insanities, it didn’t occur to me that I might have a problem until earlier this year, when the Twitter founder turned Silicon Valley wellness influencer Jack Dorsey detailed his fasting regimen. The news that he eats one meal a day during the week and nothing on the weekend provoked scornful cries that he was advocating little more than anorexia with a bro-y tech-world veneer. I, on the other hand, saw a kindred spirit. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 26418 - Posted: 07.15.2019

By Madeleine Connors At the age of 16, my mother spent hours waiting in bread lines in communist Poland, biting at her nails. The year was 1972. The line was mostly women. Their bellies rattled with hunger, anticipation of food burning in their throats. My mother has said that waiting in a bread line was not much different from a time later in her life when she had moved to America and stood in line for hours for an Eric Clapton concert. “It’s all about wanting something. You want something, you wait for it,” she recited with a tone so deadpan that it reminded me that my mom was once a teenage girl. My experience of teenage girlhood was vastly different, growing up in Sonoma, Calif. I was many things; hungry was not one of them. I picked mushrooms out of tacos with reckless abandon. I would surrender pieces of toast under the breakfast table to my dachshund. But in 1972, food rationing in Poland had become widespread. My mother would wake up at the crack of dawn with ambitions of bringing back flour to her family. She would clench and study her bread coupon, only to look up and see an outbound train full of canned goods and hams hurtling toward Russia. Even then she knew: food was for other people. People who were better, more deserving; worth nourishing. When I was young, I ate to overcompensate for her hunger. Costco became the patron saint of my mother’s immigrant anxieties and bulk was her prayer. She bought American dream-size buckets full of almonds. She bought offensive amounts of pastas. She bought enough snacks to feed a bus full of kids on a travel soccer team. Shopping with my mother became an arms race. Shuffling through aisles along with other newly American mothers, my mom lived to give me a different life than the one she experienced. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 26392 - Posted: 07.05.2019

By Diana Kwon When Cynthia Bulik started studying eating disorders back in the early 1980s, what she read in the scientific literature clashed with what she saw in the clinic. At the time, theories about the causes of these conditions were focused primarily on explanations based on family dynamics and sociocultural factors. These descriptions could not explain how, despite dangerously low body weights, patients with eating disorders were often “hyperactive and said they felt well, and only started feeling poorly when we nourished them,” says Bulik, who is currently a professor at both the University of North Carolina and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “I became convinced that there had to be something biological going on.” Since then, a growing body of research has confirmed Bulik’s observations. Cases of individuals developing rapid alterations in eating behaviors after various infections—the first of which emerged nearly a century ago—have built up over decades. For example, symptoms of eating disorders often occur in pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS), a condition in which children experience sudden behavioral changes, typically after a streptococcal infection. In addition, over the last few years, several large-scale epidemiological investigations based on data from population registers in Scandinavia—compiled by Bulik and others—have linked eating disorders and autoimmune diseases, including Crohn’s, celiac and type 1 diabetes. © 2019 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 26222 - Posted: 05.09.2019

By Nicholas Bakalar Girls who have serious or repeated infections in childhood are at higher risk for developing eating disorders in adolescence, a new study has found. The study, in JAMA Psychiatry, tracked 525,643 girls — every girl born in Denmark from 1989 through 2006. The researchers recorded all prescriptions that were filled for antibiotics and other anti-infective medications, as well as hospitalizations for infection, through 2012. There were 4,240 diagnoses of eating disorders during that time. Compared with girls who had never been hospitalized for infection, those who had been hospitalized were at a 22 percent increased risk for anorexia, a 35 percent increased risk for bulimia and a 39 percent increased risk for other eating disorders. Filling three or more prescriptions for anti-infective drugs was associated with similar increases in the risk, and the more infections or hospitalizations a girl had, the more likely she was to develop an eating disorder. This is an observational study so it cannot determine cause and effect, and the authors acknowledge that other mechanisms — genetic factors, or stress and anxiety, for example — could increase the risk of both eating disorders and infection. The lead author, Lauren Breithaupt, a research fellow at Harvard, said that the reasons for the link are unknown, but “it could be that the anti-infective agents are upsetting the microbes in the gut. Changing the microbiome could affect behaviors through the connection of the gut to the brain through the vagus nerve.” © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 26194 - Posted: 05.02.2019

By JoAnna Novak “U guys I had this awesome thing for dinner,” my little sister texts our family. “ICE CREAM HEHE.” After 20 years of dealing with an eating disorder, recovered-me has a response and sick-me has a response, but neither seems right. My siblings, my mom and I chat all day in our “Fam” text thread. Morning roll call? Check. Terrier on kitchen table? Yep. Food talk? A feast of food talk. Actually, not just talk. And not just food. “Did 74 min on tread,” my sister texts. “Exhausted.” I know. She started 2018 with a goal to lose 20 lingering college pounds, and she’s been in lifestyle-overhaul ever since. Often she calls me post-workout, breathless, gushing endorphins. Other times she sends sports bra selfies. (“Get it,” my mom responds.) She shares meal pics, too, plates of sheet-pan chicken or “healthy” comfort food (turkey hot dogs, cauli-mac and cheese), a latte pink with beet juice, a splurge. (That ice cream she had was Halo Top, which is low in calories and high in protein.) I was buying blue cheese for burgers last week when she said she was 10 pounds from her target. I picked up the Roquefort and blinked off memories of closing in on a number, those hazy promises that, soon, everything might change. “That’s amazing,” I said. “I’m proud of you.” She’d gained so much confidence over the last year; she was already feeling more comfortable in her skin, she said. “You know what I mean.” In a way, I did. It’s a conversation I’d never thought we’d be having, one where my sister trusts me enough to share anxieties about her body and I’m recovered enough to listen. I went on my first diet when she was 5 and I was 12. A few months later she was crying, begging newly anorexic me to eat a canned peach. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 26031 - Posted: 03.14.2019

Amy Lewis Cynthia Bulik began her scientific career studying childhood depression. But while she was working as a research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1980s, psychiatrist David Kupfer asked her to help write a book chapter comparing electroencephalography studies in depression and anorexia. As preparation, she shadowed a psychiatrist at a hospital inpatient unit for people with eating disorders. Bulik was intrigued by what she witnessed there. “These people were my age, my sex, and weighed half as much as I did,” she says. “They seemed very eloquent and interactive, but at the same time, in this one area of their psychology and biology, they occupied a completely different space.” Now the founding director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bulik has been unraveling the biology behind eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa (AN) ever since. Characterized by extreme caloric restriction resulting in weight loss, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image, anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Death can be a result of various risks associated with the condition, from suicide to heart failure. While many AN sufferers go undiagnosed, making incidence rates hard to pin down, some researchers estimate that up to 2 percent of women and 0.3 percent of men are affected globally. © 1986 - 2019 The Scientist

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 25914 - Posted: 01.29.2019

By Abby Ellin The issue was peanut butter. No matter what form it took — creamy, crunchy, straight from the jar or smeared between two slices of bread — it caused Sunny Gold enormous anxiety. In fact, the gooey spread posed such a threat that during her first few years of recovery from binge eating disorder, between 2006 and 2007, Ms. Gold, 42, a communications specialist in Portland, Ore., couldn’t keep it around the house. It was one of her favorite foods, and she feared she would binge on it. Just knowing it was there, lurking in her cupboard, made her feel “unsafe,” as she put it. And that’s when things got really tricky. Because her boyfriend at the time, John Pavlus, didn’t think twice about peanut butter — or any food, for that matter. When Ms. Gold, the author of “Food: The Good Girl’s Drug,” told him that it would be a casualty of her getting healthy, he was taken aback. “It was a bit uncomfortable for me at first,” Mr. Pavlus, a 40-year-old writer and filmmaker, admitted. He knew that Ms. Gold had grappled with binge eating since she was a teenager, but food was something they’d bonded over. So when she decided that she needed to “cut herself off,” he felt that he was losing something, “less for the practical inconvenience than the unexpected feeling of being subtly disconnected from her,” he said. “It was strange to think of these parts of our shared reality as being so radically — to me — redefined. Is peanut butter literally dangerous now? Does that mean I have to treat it that way too? Will it be like this forever?” Mr. Pavlus’s reaction is echoed by many romantic partners of someone with an eating disorder, many of whom — though certainly not all — are women. Partners often want to help, but simply don’t know how. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 25734 - Posted: 11.30.2018

By Isabella Rolz Anais Garcia, 21, anxiously stares at the menu of a Bob Evans restaurant in Baltimore. Her dark brown eyes gravitate toward the Fit and Healthy section, which lists calories per meal. She takes a long time figuring out what to order and decides to go with her “safe meal,” a small stack of pancakes, with no butter, reduced-calorie syrup, a small bowl of fruit on the side and a cup of black coffee. “Restaurants are like battle zones for me, literal war zones,” she says. A ballerina who contended with anorexia nervosa for years, Garcia, who is 5-foot-1½ tall, has reached 105 pounds, a safer weight than the 79 pounds of a year ago. In her gray turtleneck sweater and casual black leggings, her extreme thinness remains apparent. “For the past five years, I’ve done nothing but hate and try to disown my body,” she says. Ballet celebrates the body — and thinness. Despite demands for change from dancers who have experienced problems and from psychologists specializing in eating disorders, the stereotype that a dancer must be elegant and lean persists. Ballerinas become vulnerable to self-consciousness about their bodies, and they face increased risk of anorexia, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. Generally, someone who develops an eating disorder has a predisposition, with several factors at play. For ballerinas, “it is of course the ballet culture,” which is competitive and demanding, says Linda Hamilton, a New York psychologist who has worked with ballerinas with eating disorders. But “you might also have a personality predisposition,” she says. “A perfectionist personality can make the dancer intolerant of any physical changes.” Sometimes, “the disorders start early, as young as 12,” she says, because the curves that come with puberty don’t fit the ballet look. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 25669 - Posted: 11.12.2018

Lee Daniel Kravetz In 1972, a woman checked into London’s Royal Free Hospital to be treated for anorexia. “I found her symptoms to be unique,” Gerald Russell, the British psychologist who treated her, tells me. “They didn’t match the diagnostic criteria for anorexia at all.” Unlike his emaciated patients with sallow skin and big eyes, Russell’s new patient was of average weight. Her face was full. Her cheeks were pink as the skin of an onion. She was the first of roughly thirty instances of this unusual condition that crossed the threshold of his clinic over the next seven years, each person presenting with perplexing purging behaviors secondary to binge eating. Russell wasn’t dealing with anorexia nervosa, he realized, but something as yet undefined by psychology or medicine. In fact, he had stumbled upon a condition that science had yet to see in large numbers or identify at any time in the long history of eating disorders. Psychological Medicine published Russell’s ensuing paper on these unusual cases; in it, he described the key features of this novel mental illness he was now referring to as bulimia nervosa. Many in the scientific community objected to Russell’s conclusions, pointing to the limited and problematic sample size he’d used. At the time, however, there were simply too few cases for Russell to draw from. The pool in the 1970s was just too small. As bulimia gained further diagnostic legitimacy in 1980 with its inclusion in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Russell ruefully tracked its unexpectedly swift spread across Europe and North America, where it infiltrated college campuses, affecting 15 percent of female students in sororities, all-women dormitories, and female collegiate sports teams. The disease moved through the halls of American high schools, where binging, fasting, diet pill use, and other eating disorder symptoms easily clustered. He chased its dispersion across Egypt, where the number of new cases grew to 400,000. In Canada, it swelled to 600,000. In Russia, 800,000. In India, 6 million. In China, 7 million. In the UK, one out of every one hundred women was now developing the disorder. © 2018, New York Media LLC.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 25271 - Posted: 07.30.2018

By Jane E. Brody Eating disorders pose serious hazards to adolescents and young adults and are often hidden from family, friends and even doctors, sometimes until the disorders cause lasting health damage and have become highly resistant to treatment. According to the Family Institute at Northwestern University, nearly 3 percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18 have eating disorders. Boys as well as girls may be affected. Even when the disorder does not reach the level of a clinical diagnosis, some studies suggest that as many as half of teenage girls and 30 percent of boys have seriously distorted eating habits that can adversely affect them physically, academically, psychologically and socially. Eating disorders can ultimately be fatal, said Dr. Laurie Hornberger, a specialist in adolescent medicine at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. “People with eating disorders can die of medical complications, but they may be even more likely to die of suicide. They become tired of having their lives controlled by eating and food issues.” The problem is especially common among, though not limited to, gymnasts, dancers, models, wrestlers and other athletes, who often struggle to maintain ultra-slim bodies or maintain restrictive weight limits. The transgender population is also at higher risk for eating disorders. It is not unusual for teenagers to adopt strange or extreme food-related behaviors, prompting many parents to think “this too shall pass.” But experts say an eating disorder — anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating — should not be considered “normal” adolescent behavior, and they urge the adults in the youngsters’ lives to be alert to telltale signs and take necessary action to stop the problem before it becomes entrenched. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 25270 - Posted: 07.30.2018

by Juli Fraga Individuals with anorexia, binge eating disorder and bulimia often feel anxious and overwhelmed when surrounded by food. This anxiety can make grocery shopping and cooking a challenge. A new form of telemedicine in which people can video-chat with a nutritional counselor while at the supermarket aims to help. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 percent of Americans suffer from anorexia, a sometimes deadly psychiatric illness. Along with anorexia, millions of Americans also struggle with binge eating disorder. Jamie Lynn Pelletier, 28, of Greensboro, N.C., was just 13 when she began counting calories and skipping meals, behavior that eventually led to anorexia, which is characterized by food restriction, extreme weight loss and distorted body image. “In junior high, I began to feel unattractive and self-conscious about my body. To lose weight, I started dieting and overexercising,” Pelletier said. Since 2015, Pelletier has completed several residential and outpatient treatment programs in the battle to stop starving herself. Her struggle shows how tough it can be for anorexics to stop seeing food as the enemy. Recently, Pelletier’s dietitian recommended grocery store therapy, which allows her to connect with a dietitian via video chat. “Going to the grocery store is stressful because seeing foods labeled as low-carb and low-fat can make me feel like buying the real thing is not okay. With virtual therapy, I FaceTime with my dietitian at the store,” said Pelletier, referring to Apple’s video-chat application. “For privacy, I put in my headphones so I can talk to her discreetly while I’m shopping.” © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 25004 - Posted: 05.22.2018

By Roni Dengler Just looking at a picture of a skinny model on the cover of Glamour or Elle makes many women feel bad about their own weight. Now, science is backing them up. The largest study of its kind finds images of thinner women make even healthy weight women less satisfied with their own bodies—but looking at heavier women makes them feel better. Researchers showed nearly 200 18- to 25-year-old female study participants with a “healthy” body mass index score between 19 and 25 images of normal-, underweight-, or overweight-looking women of the same age and ethnicity. All the images were originally of healthy weight women, but researchers altered some of the pictures to make the models appear larger or smaller by increasing or decreasing the width of the images by 150 pixels. Women who viewed images of the resulting healthy and “overweight” models reported feeling more satisfied with their own body size than women who viewed images of “underweight” models did. After looking at pictures of “underweight” models, women’s satisfaction with their own bodies hardly changed, whereas after seeing healthy weight models, women reported feeling nearly 9% more satisfied with their own body size, for example. Plus, women who viewed images of normal and overweight models perceived their own bodies as smaller, including women who came into the study already feeling highly dissatisfied with their bodies—similar to how eating disorder patients feel. Participants rated whether they thought they were too thin or too fat on a 0-to-10 scale when looking at themselves in a mirror. How they scored themselves dropped by almost 6% after looking at pictures of healthy and overweight models, researchers report today in Royal Society Open Science. In addition, these women felt better about themselves after seeing images of overweight women. And those differences in body satisfaction stuck around for 24 hours. © 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 24950 - Posted: 05.09.2018

By KAREN CROUSE — Shortly before Adam Rippon’s breakthrough victory at the United States figure skating championships, Brian Boitano crossed paths with him and asked how he was doing. Boitano, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist, expected Rippon to rave about his jumps or his signature spins. Instead, Boitano said, Rippon pulled back his shoulders, puffed out his chest and proudly proclaimed, “I’ve never been thinner.” It was 2016, and Rippon was subsisting mostly on a daily diet of three slices of whole grain bread topped with miserly pats of the spread I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. He supplemented his “meals” with three cups of coffee, each sweetened with six packs of Splenda. “It makes me dizzy now to think about it,” Rippon said in a interview last month. In the lead up to the men’s singles competition at the Olympics this week, Rippon has been celebrated for his robust thigh and gluteal muscles, not to mention his tight abs. He weighs 150 pounds, 10 more than he did in 2016, when he took drastic measures to stretch his 5-foot-7 body, as if it were putty, into a leaner frame that he thought would be more aesthetically pleasing to the judges. Rippon, 28, remembers wanting to resemble skaters like Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, his teenage Olympic teammates, whose matchstick bodies facilitate explosive quadruple jumps. “I looked around and saw my competitors, they’re all doing these quads, and at the same time they’re a head shorter than me, they’re 10 years younger than me and they’re the size of one of my legs,” Rippon said. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 24654 - Posted: 02.13.2018

By LISA FOGARTY The last time I tasted my birthday cake was the spring I turned 13, a few months before I discovered the elimination game. The game went like this: first, stop eating sweets. Second, blot sauces, oils and dressings with paper towels while no one was looking. Third, count grams of fat, reject any food with over 3 grams, and keep a calorie tally in the back of your math notebook (where, if someone found it, they’d assume it was just math). The elimination game also involved adding. Add the toilet bowl and the sewer down the street to the list of places you could discard food. Add candy bar wrappers and empty full-fat yogurt containers to your bedroom nightstand as evidence that you’re not sick. Finally, add up the pounds you’ve lost that week that signify victory. So easy. Repeat. At 38, I am a former anorexic in recovery. Over the years, I’ve discovered my strengths — making my two children feel loved, encouraging sources to open up for stories I write as a magazine reporter — but I’ve never been as good at anything as I was at the elimination game. Growing up in leafy suburban Queens, N.Y., I became obsessed with made-for-TV movies from the ’80s and ’90s about anorexia. All of my early eating disorder role models — a nightmarish choice of words, but when you’re in the grip of this mental disorder, that’s what they are — were scared, sad and relatable. They were also all very, very young. My stars were Karen Carpenter, Tracy Gold and my favorite, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who, in the 1981 movie “The Best Little Girl in the World,” appeared appealingly helpless in high-waisted jeans. With one exception, these movies wrapped up anorexia in tidy boxes where therapy, feeding tubes, weight gain, finding release from a controlling mother’s grip and discovering the joys of food led to a happy ending. I was a kid who no longer ate dessert when I watched Ms. Leigh’s character jovially lick an ice cream cone beside her therapist. But even I knew then that ice cream was neither the problem nor the solution. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 24515 - Posted: 01.11.2018

By CLYDE HABERMAN This is a season of gustatory excess, when families gather at ample tables, offices hold lavish parties, and people eat and drink till they are beyond sated. Not everyone, though. There is a grimmer corner of America. It is populated by men and, more commonly, women who shun food not because they are too poor to afford it, but because they are too troubled to desire it. The country’s obesity epidemic deservedly draws constant attention, but many have a diametrically opposite problem: They are obsessively, and perilously, thin. Some experts estimate that 30 million Americans are plagued at some point in their lives by disorders like anorexia nervosa, binge-eating and bulimia. About one-third of them are men, belying broadly held assumptions that this is almost exclusively a female concern. Many are blacks, Latinos and Asians, countering another routine belief that this is a whites-only issue. Some get better, and stay that way. Others cycle through periods of recovery and relapse. And some, roughly a third of them, remain chronically ill or die. The National Eating Disorders Association describes anorexia as having “the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.” Retro Report, a series of video documentaries exploring the continued impact of major news stories of the past, examines how public understanding of this issue has evolved since the startling death of the singer Karen Carpenter in 1983. Her illness, anorexia, had long been familiar to medical professionals. An English doctor, William Gull, gave it its name in the 1870s, but the condition had been recognized for centuries. A few women proclaimed saints by the Roman Catholic Church are believed to have been anorexic. Although the problem was always hiding in plain sight, Ms. Carpenter’s death at 32 made everyone see it clearly. She and her brother, Richard, were the hugely popular Carpenters duo, their records selling in the tens of millions with 1970s hits like “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” © 2017 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 24387 - Posted: 12.04.2017