In a 2021 interview, Monica Seles told Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times, “I needed to figure out my emotions….to stop my love hate relationship with food and just have a love relationship with food. After that I could have a love relationship with my body.” Monica was able to fix her BED without Vyvanse, but is now the spokesperson for the drug company’s new campaign. While the pill has been on the market for attention deficit disorder, it has now been approved to treat compulsive overeating in adults.
Monica Seles, is a former number one world professional tennis player, and recovered from a nine-year struggle with compulsive eating herself. Back in 2021 she documented her struggle and recovery in the book Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self. By hearing her story, Monica hopes that other adults with BED will get the support they need. A national campaign was been developed to support the drug’s release, and more information about its role with this disease is found at BingeEatingDisorder.com. There you’ll learn more about BED, the experiences of others, and how to raise the topic with health care providers and loved ones. (more…)
In the new book Almost Anorexic: Is My (or My Loved One’s) Relationship with Food a Problem, Dr. Jennifer Thomas (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinical Research program at Massachusetts General) and best selling author Jenni Schaefer explore a new definition of anorexic behavior, the “almost effect.”
Almost Anorexic is one in a series of books about The Almost Effect, written by faculty members of Harvard Medical School and other experts. This book, and others in the series, suggest that behaviors often fall short of meeting the criteria of receiving a particular diagnosis, but still fall outside of normal behavior. These are the people who often slip through the cracks and whose behaviors often develop into a full-blown condition.
Recently, I spoke with the bubbly co-authors about their collaboration. “When Harvard Health Publications approached me about the book, they encouraged me to work with a writer,” Dr. Thomas explained. “The first person I considered was author Jenni Schaefer. She added a great layer to the book.” Not only has Jenni penned numerous books about eating disorders, she knows about the disease firsthand.
Remember the last time you ate so much that you felt sick, and with dried marinara on your chin you decried, “I’m in a food coma!”? You had been binge eating, and you could be mentally ill.
On May 18, the American Psychiatric Association released the DSM-5, the most recent update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. For the first time in the manual’s 60-year history, binge eating was included. For mental health professionals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, and the legal system, this handbook acts as the official and standard criteria for classifying mental disorders. Since everyone occasionally overeats, the designation of binge eating as a legitimate mental illness almost seems imprecise and excessive, but binging is associated with seriously negative psychological symptoms.
The inclusion of binge eating in the DSM-5 is a contentious issue in the mental health community, because some feel it will be over-applied or linked to common problems with overeating.
To illustrate my point, let’s go back to that food coma. After you’ve overeaten, you didn’t feel well, and you were bummed out, confused as to why you thought six slices of pizza and a two liter of soda was a good idea, and you probably wanted to turn back time and eat a salad. Those feelings are light-hearted representations of depression, guilt, and lack of self control, which are all manifestations of a mental illness. (more…)
Strange food mixtures, also referred to as food concocting, may be an indication of being a binge eater. That’s according to a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
How do you define strange food mixtures? How about:
- Mashed potatoes and Oreo cookies
- Frozen vegetables mixed with mayonnaise
- Chips with lemon, pork rinds, Italian dressing and salt
The excitement comes in the preparation. In fact, they reported having the same emotions as drug users during the act, which was countered by shame and disgust after the fact.
“While they are food concocting and binge eating they report being excited, in a frenzy, and high, but afterwards they feel awful about themselves,” says Mary Boggiano, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychology and primary investigator of the study. (more…)
Although Khloé Kardashian has tried her share of lose-weight-quick dieting strategies in the past, she revealed that her diet before her first appearance as co-host of The X-Factor consisted only of making healthier eating choices the old-fashioned way.
The 28-year-old told People magazine after the show that she trimmed down ten pounds by reducing her intake of sweets as well as cheese, a personal favorite indulgence, and working hard not to binge eat. She tries to keep up with a consistent exercise program and is changing her diet slowly to make sure she can realistically keep it up.
Kardashian said she’s learned that crash diets do not work long term. “When I used to do things like crash diets or things too fast, it never stuck because it wasn’t a lifestyle change,” she told reporters.
The star posed for the cover of Life & Style magazine in May 2021 for an article about how she lost 20 pounds in 20 days. Although that’s over the recommended amount of weight loss in such a short period of time, Kardashian said she did it through healthy meals prepared by her chef and extended daily workout sessions with her husband and a personal trainer. (more…)
The September 19 episode of Dr. Oz will feature discussion about a dangerous eating pattern that more and more Americans are becoming prone to: binge eating.
Binge eating is a disorder in which you consume large amounts of food in one sitting as a regular occurrence. It is sometimes done in secret, and is different from overeating in that behavioral and emotional symptoms such as guilt and depression often create a vicious cycle of continual eating when you’re already full or not hungry.
Women featured on the show confess that they’re disgusted with themselves for binge eating, have taught the pattern to their children, and desperately want to stop.
One guest is 7 months pregnant but no one in her life has known about her regular binge eating that is potentially harming her unborn child as well as putting herself at risk. (more…)
As someone who’s struggled with body image myself, this story hits close to home.
Shannon Bradley-Colleary, a 46-year-old blogger at The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful, hasn’t always loved her body. In fact, 20 years ago, she hated it.
In addition to her own negative thoughts of herself, she had a boyfriend at the time who was always pointing out her cellulite telling her that it was unattractive. Glad she dumped that guy.
But unlike most women who would otherwise hide those feelings away and let negative thoughts fester, Shannon decided to take a look at her body from a new perspective. She had artistic nude photos taken of herself and when she saw the results, the negative thoughts she had of herself disappeared.
Where she expected to see a pudgy woman with cellulite and heavy thighs, she saw a beautiful, healthy young woman who had no reason to doubt herself or hate her body. No problem areas, no cellulite, just a beautiful body. (more…)
Many who have struggled with their weight for a lifetime look to weight loss surgery methods like gastric bypass or the lap-band procedure to solve their weight problems. While these types of surgeries are successful for some people, many others still struggle after their operation.
For those with underlying psychological food issues, weight loss surgery can trigger other eating disorders. According to a 2021 Harvard study, 60 percent of all individuals seeking surgical treatment for obesity suffer from an eating disorder, usually binge eating. Those that have a previously unhealthy relationship with food and their body are at a higher risk of succumbing to other eating disorders after their operation.
Lap band and gastric bypass surgeries don’t typically create an eating disorder if there wasn’t previously one there. The major problem is that some who have these unhealthy food relationships have either left them untreated, or been unsuccessful in treatment prior to surgery. For binge eaters, the body cannot physically handle binge eating after surgery.
There is good news and bad news. The bad news is that more than half a million adolescents in the United States could qualify for a diagnosed eating disorder according to research published at Archives of General Psychiatry. The study included structured interviews with more than 10,000 teenagers and their parents. The good news is that more than half a million is just under three percent of adolescents.
It is estimated than 0.3 percent of teens will suffer from anorexia nervosa, 0.9 percent will suffer from bulimia nervosa, and 1.6 percent will suffer from binge-eating disorder. Although many of the kids will experience some mental health treatment, it is generally not eating disorder specific.
While I am glad to read a low percentage of teens experience eating disorders, it is essential that proper treatment is provided to those kids that need it. Eating disorders require special treatment by a trained professional and often a team of professionals. The best treatments with which I am familiar include medical professionals, nutritionists, counselors, psychiatrists, and peer groups. Eating disorders are complicated syndromes that must take into account and treat a variety of factors.
Also sometimes called sleep-related eating (disorder), nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder (NS-RED), or sleep-eating syndrome, sleep eating is a rare and dangerous sleep disorder (not an eating disorder) that affects up to three percent of the population. There can be comorbidity with eating disorders; however, ten to 15 percent of those that suffer from eating disorders also experience sleep eating.
Sleep eating is classified by episodes of sleep walking during which one eats. Often the foods eaten during sleep are high in sugar or high in fat. Non-food items (such as soap) or odd combinations (such as raw bacon covered in mayonnaise) have also been reported as eaten during episodes of sleep eating. The sleep eater often awakes in the morning with no memory of the event.
There are several dangers associated with sleep eating. Sleep walking of any kind poses the risk of self-injury from running into things, falling down stairs, etc. Those that are sleep eating are at risk of injury from eating uncooked food or non-food items, choking, using knives, and even cooking while sleeping, and starting a fire. In addition, sleep eating also carries the same risks as binge eating, such as weight gain and increased risk of diabetes. (more…)