To the Bone: What’s Fact and What’s Fiction

This week marks the annual National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness).  Wow, this year has gone fast. (Here is last year’s blog). This year’s theme is “Let’s Get Real”, with the hopes of expanding the conversation about people’s (often complicated) relationships with food, exercise, and body image. Like many mental health illnesses, the stigma and stereotypes about eating disorders run deep. What better way to get conversations flowing than by portraying eating disorders in a movie, right? RIGHT! Well ready or not, that’s what keeps happening.

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Running Away from Me to Find Myself

Instead of coming from me, sometimes it’s better to hear stories directly from the people who are going through it. This powerful blog entry is written by a patient of mine during her battle with an eating disorder. She gave permission to share it. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact a health care provider. Check out National Eating Disorders Association for more information.

 – Paula Cody, MD, MPH

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Obesity and Eating Disorders (ie Which came first? The chicken or the egg?)

ss_245472493_doctor_girl_teenAs I was preparing for a talk about effective obesity screening with the US Department of Health and Human Services (see below for link), I found myself getting really frustrated with the over-simplification of obesity.

Childhood and adolescent obesity is definitely a problem. It has increased a lot over the past 4 decades (like three- to six-fold). Over 1 in 5 youth are currently obese. Read more

Teen Eating Disorders

Teen GirlFebruary 22-28, 2015 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which is perfect timing since we tend to see a surge of new eating disorder diagnoses after the holidays (and during summer…and fall…). I’m often asked, “Are eating disorders more common now than they were years ago?” If the number of consults I’m seeing is any indication, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” However, I am biased, so let’s look at the data.

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Eating Disorders in Teens

It can be difficult at the beginning to decipher what is an eating disorder versus what is normal self-consciousness and dieting behavior that comes with the changing bodies in adolescents.

But as the eating disorder progresses, the red flags can get more obvious. Some of these red flags include a change in eating behavior, where people will skip meals or make up reasons why they’re not eating:

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