Friday, May 20, 2011

Eating Disorders and The First Lady’s Campaign on Childhood Obesity

Icon WebMD Expert Blogs 
Healthy Recipe Doctor with Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

When I heard that First Lady Michelle Obama was waging war on childhood obesity with a team of experts at her disposal, my first comment was, “I sure hope she’s included an eating disorder specialist.” Because at the same time you are aiming to lower childhood obesity, you should be aiming to lower eating disorders. You wouldn’t want to encourage a new dangerous condition while trying to fix another.
The prevalence and seriousness of eating disorders should not be taken lightly. Here are a few sobering statistics that bring this point home:
  • Eating disorders cause more deaths annually than all other mental and emotional health conditions combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Eating disorders are the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to Chris Kraatz, PhD, author of Radical Recovery.
  • An estimated 10 to 15 percent of people who are considered obese have abinge eating disorder, according to the Weight-control Information Network, part of the NIH.
At the same time that there’s been a childhood obesity epidemic, there has also been a surge in eating disorders. In fact, body size obsession and dieting behaviors in children and teens have never been higher. This past February 21st through the 27th was National Eating Disorder Week.
“National Eating Disorder Week is just one way to wage the war on unrealistic body-perfect expectations,” explains Kim Dennis, MD, Director at Chicago-based Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, which works work with women to prevent eating disorders and body image issues...

Finish Reading

No comments: