Eating disorders are not all about food

Eating disorders are very complex conditions, and have the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue. 

25 years ago, with a few other physicians, Dr. Christine Lammerse and Dr. Joan Fujiwara led the way in establishing Fraser Health’s community-based treatment program for those suffering from eating disorders. 

As pioneers in the eating disorder treatment field in B.C., I connected with Drs. Lammerse and Fujiwara on what makes eating disorders so complex and how treatment has changed.  

Mindfulness in eating pays the body big dividends

Seventh-grade students at McLean School in Potomac, Md., unwrap a piece of chocolate.

“Pick it up and hold it in your hand,” says Frankie Engelking. “What do you feel?” she asks. “Think about where this chocolate may have come from. Close your eyes and gently smell it.”

“This is so hard,” one student says.

“When can we eat it?” asks another.

But they can’t eat it just yet.

“Put it in your mouth. Let it sit on your tongue,” Engelking says. “Feel the texture. What do you notice?”

A Screening Tool for Binge Eating Disorder

A 7-point screening tool helps raise awareness of BED among clinicians.

Although it’s now the most common eating disorder, BED wasn’t formally recognized until the DSM-5 was published in 2013. Under-diagnosis of BED is believed to be relatively common. In an earlier survey testing physicians’ knowledge about binge eating and treatment recommendations for obesity treatment, more than 40% of physicians responded that they never screened or assessed patients for possible underlying binge-eating (Int J Eat Disord. 2004; 35:348).

Johnny Depp surprises BC Children's Hospital patients as Jack Sparrow

There was a major commotion in the halls of BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Monday, August 14th, 2017 when Johnny Depp himself, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, made the rounds entertaining sick kids.

According to the hospital, the 54-year-old actor spent 5.5 hours meeting one-on-one with every patient – everyone from newborns to teens. He arrived at the hospital at 3:30 pm under a veil of secrecy and was met at the entrance by three special guides who were previously patients at the hospital.  

Group Version of Enhanced CBT Effective for Eating Disorders

A group version of enhanced cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT-E) is effective at reducing eating disorder psychopathology, according to a study published in the August issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Stephanie Wade, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues randomized 40 individuals with eating disorders and a body mass index (BMI) of ≥18 kg/m² to an immediate-start or delayed-start to compare therapeutic effects of group CBT-E with a waitlist control.

Might There Be A Cure for Genetic Trauma?

Is it possible for a pregnant woman under great stress to pass on that trauma to her fetus through a biological mechanism that alters her genes?

And could those deleterious effects be reversed by diet?

Face-to-face therapy best to treat binge eating disorder

People should opt for face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy if they're looking for the fastest way to address their binge eating disorder, suggests a new study from Germany.

Researchers found that while an internet-based self-help program did help people binge eat less often, face-to-face therapy led to a larger and faster reduction in binge eating episodes.

A new documentary exposes extreme fussy eaters and its side effects

The Secret Lives of Fussy Eaters Documentary 

Fussy eaters can be a nightmare for parents even though most children usually grow out of their picky food habits.

But for a few with a newly diagnosed eating disorder, every meal can seem like a plate of raw liver, so disgusting sufferers want to vomit at the sight of it.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), was defined four years ago and is so new little research has been done into treatment. But a documentary called The Secret Lives of Fussy Eaters is attempting to lift the lid on the problem.

Teen suffers from rare eating disorder that only lets him eat dry yellow food

Jake Thompson's nutritional deficiency caused the loss of eyesight.

Jake Thompson ate anything until he was 3 years old.

However, traumatic experiences involving his allergies to food when he was younger shaped a diet that consisted mainly of chips, bread, chicken tenders and nuggets.

For the 18-year-old from Greymouth, his intense aversion to anything mushy or wet, combined with a severe allergy to peanuts and dairy, led to a diet only consisting of only dry, yellow coloured foods.

Mindful eating for health and meal satisfaction

Mindfulness can help you eat healthier and achieve your personal best weight. How you eat is as important as what you eat. There are many reasons we eat that have nothing to do with the physical necessity to eat. We eat in response to environmental triggers such as seeing something that looked or smelled good or because of learned behaviour such as being told to always finish our plate as a child. We also eat in response to emotional triggers such as stress, loneliness or boredom.

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