Sunday Smörgåsbord

It's once again time for your weekly Sunday Smorgasbord, where I trawl the web for the latest in ED-related news, research, and more, so you don't have to.

The benefits and risks of online therapy.

The link between body weight and income.

Can dieting ruin a marriage? The first entry in a new blog by a "folklorist of fat."

Challenging perfectionism and winning in recovery.

Developing brains and eating disorder susceptibility.

Robot being programmed to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

New York State might require mandatory training in eating disorders for all physicians. It's a good thing, but I'm really curious to learn what that training would actually teach them.

NHS plans new eating disorder unit for Scotland.

One in ten children and teens with OCD will develop an eating disorder.

The genetic mutations that can lead to autism spectrum disorders in boys may lead to EDs in girls. The jury is still out, but it's fascinating research.

More and more college cafeterias post nutrition information. File under: why I'm really glad I'm not an undergrad these days. Most of the studies say that this information really doesn't change people's eating habits, so why do we persist? Sigh...

Women binge eaters most likely to eat evening snacks, least likely to eat breakfast.

Brain tissue volume changes following weight gain in adults with anorexia nervosa.

Psychobiology of borderline personality traits related to subtypes of eating disorders.

Objective and subjective binge eating in underweight eating disorders.

Patterns of pregnancy weight gain in women with eating disorders.

Associations between body checking and disordered eating behaviors in nonclinical women.

Serotonin receptor moderates the relation between changes in depressive and bulimic symptoms in adolescent girls.

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hm said...

Nice article on the "window" theory of treating eating disorders. There are all kinds of psychological windows- for language, for attachment, for understanding- I'm not surprised there is one for seeing- and that would be great research- if we could find out that window where kids are primed to learn about whole nutrition and body awareness etc.

Telehealth... I used to beg my therapist to do phone sessions rather than in person sessions with me- sitting one-on-one in a closed room made me feel like my face was on fire. I literally CRAWLED with stress and discomfort. But I knew I needed help. She refused- said face-to-face had benefits that she wasn't willing to compromise. At the same time, she did telesessions with me when I was on vacation or ill, and that was invaluable for keeping the connection we had worked our asses off to achieve and maintain. I think there is room for both. But after years of working with this therapist, I definitely see HUGE benefits I have gained emotionally and socially specifically because of face-to-face therapy- phone sessions wouldn't have been half as beneficial. Especially with ed patients- where the territory becomes murky and at times infiltrated with deceit and manipulations and high levels of noncompliance. Face-to-face is superior. But telesessions have their value and are definitely a good addition to the therapeutic toolbox.

As to posting calories... I SO do not get this practice. It makes about a million times more sense to me to put forth nation-wide effort into SERVING HEALTHIER FOOD. I mean, really- doesn't that make more sense? Serve good food. Don't serve shit. Ok, so have your shit-filled restaurants here and there for people who specifically want to go out of their way to eat shit. Put calorie info in those if you want, as if anyone would care. But in places like cafeterias, how about just serving GOOD FOOD??? Healthy food? And showing a picture of the new myplate for basic guidance? Just a thought.

Oh... and I need a bakebot. Yes, I do. My bakebot would make dark chocolate brownies.

Katie said...

There's a dreadful comment on the article about the new unit in Scotland - from someone insisting that invasive and compulsory psychiatric treatment is always wrong. I happen to know about a girl in Scotland who died from anorexia recently, and I would very much like to show that stupid commenter the consequences of the treatment deficit there. Gah.

The skinny women = more money thing made me want to shout about correlation not implying causation. Those with actual eating disorders may well be the overachieving perfectionist types, so it would make sense that they would reach higher positions. Then there's the fact that women with more money can spend it on healthy food (which some find expensive, hence the poverty-obesity correlation), stupid diets or personal trainers. It's not as simple as people being rewarded for being super skinny. Most people don't find the anorexic look very attractive anyway, and someone who is very thin and unwell looking is not really going to scream "reliable employee" to a potential boss. I think this study has an oversimplistic conclusion.

I'm grumpier than usual this morning because people have been breaking into my yard :P I need one of those robot made chocolate chip cookies!

Anonymous said...

I think, rather, an alternative headline or view of the autism-ED study/link is "Autism presents differently in girls than in boys, partly due to extreme social pressures." ED can be seen as a form of obsessive behavior. Autistics can become very absorbed in an activity based on numbers, such as calories counting and the other number-focused expressions of anorexia (weight lost by X date and so on). It has already been seen that since girls receive so much more pressure to socially conform, they have less of the more obvious social idiosyncrasies male autistics do (although they still tend to be social misfits). Then if they develop an ED, they are diagnosed with that, and the autistic underpinnings are ignored.
The recent research on this is fascinating to me as I am autistic myself, late life diagnosis.

EvilGenius said...

I found the income/weight article interesting...sure it's fairly unprovable but I've read the part about overweight MEN earning more and women less before which would support it being linked to societal expectations not just personality type (although I'm sure that plays a role).
The binge eating study was interesting in that it marked me out as an anomaly - I found I was at a lower weight usually than others who had 'subjective' bingeing problems.

Anonymous said...

I understand the problems with posting calories. I also understand the flip side. I was about to relapse/anorexic when I lived in the dorm, and if I didn't know what was in the food or couldn't see the facts, I would leave and probably go hours or a whole day without eating.

Carrie Arnold said...

Great comments, everyone!

With the calorie labeling thing: I have mixed feelings. It can feed the ED mentality, yes. But it does help me with recovery sometimes, because I can more easily find things that fit my meal plan. In general, I'd prefer them not to be there (like hm said, if we served high-quality food most of the time, then there wouldn't be this problem), but they're not pure evil, either.

The autism/anorexia thing: I took an "Autism Quotient Test" on Facebook (which, okay, it's not necessarily the most accurate, but whatever) and I scored really high. Mostly because of my obsessiveness and my general dislike of social situations. The ED obsessiveness is inline with other autism behaviors (numbers, facts, statistics). I find nutrition information charts fascinating above and beyond the ED thinking--I just love charts and data. So it's easy to see overlap between those traits.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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