Identifying risk factors for eating disorder symptoms may help us develop more evidence-based prevention mentions. Personally not convinced that prevention is really possible with the types of individual-focused programs we have today, I would argue that identifying risk factors may at least help us determine which individuals should be screened in subsequent years. If they do develop eating disorders, they will hopefully be more likely to receive early intervention and treatment.
To identify predictors of eating disorder symptoms, Elizabeth Evans and colleagues (2016) conducted a longitudinal study that measured various putative risk factors at ages 7, 9, and 12 in a group of boys and girls. The authors also wanted to identify correlates of eating disorder symptoms at 12 years of age. They measured eating attitudes and dietary restraint, BMI, body dissatisfaction, and depressive symptoms.
- 516 participants; 262 girls and 254 boys
- all individuals were residents of Gateshead, located
… Continue reading →
There has been a veritable explosion of “anti-fat talk” movements in the body image and eating disorder prevention realms over the past few years. Indeed, campaigns like the Tri-Delta Sorority Fat Talk Free week have become relatively well known. Events like the “Southern Smash,” where participants literally smash scales are other iterations of this social phenomenon encouraging a more positive conversation around bodies.
I am, of course, a fan of the idea that we shouldn’t put our bodies down; I’m a huge proponent of the need to avoid putting our own and others’ bodies down. I think that initiatives like Fat Talk Free week are good practice as they help move conversations in more productive directions and help to redirect our focus from bodies as our only source of value.
One of my concerns about these initiatives is that in signing up to do a Fat Talk Free … Continue reading →
When I tell people I research eating disorders I generally get one of three reactions:
- They ask me how I got into this research
- They tell me a story about themselves or a friend/family member suffering from an eating disorder
- They share some knowledge they’ve gleaned at some point about what it looks like to have an eating disorder (often, “aren’t eating disorders most common in teenagers?”)
Those are without question the most common responses I get, ignoring the really horrible outliers. The last item reminds me that there are still extremely pervasive myths about what “having an eating disorder” looks like. Perhaps in an earnest effort to counter such myths, I am always scouring the literature for studies revealing the particularities of eating disorders amongst diverse individuals.
One such group, and one that has been getting more “press” of late is women in midlife. To scan the more recent … Continue reading →