Food addiction: could overeating be compulsive?

Food Addictions and OvereatingGetting a grip on addiction can be incredibly hard, as anyone who has ever tried to give up smoking, alcohol or even caffeine will testify.

A tried and tested tactic is to avoid the thing you’re addicted to – giving up going to pubs for a while, or not to have cigarettes in the house.

Even with these measures people often struggle and fail repeatedly.

But what if the thing you are addicted to has to be kept in the house, and worse, has to be something you sit down in front of three times a day?

As obesity levels continue to rise, the scientific community is starting to look for similarities between overeating and addiction.

The EU has funded a project called NeuroFAST to bring all the evidence together.

Full story of food addiction at BBC News Health

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New guidelines offer hope for those with binge-eating disorder

New Guidelines For Binge-EatingAt one time or another, Jana Begor has tried most of the commercially advertised diets, not to mention the grapefruit diet and the cabbage soup diet. She became a vegan. She tried the raw food diet.

Sometimes, she lost weight. And then she regained it.

“I need to learn how to eat,” said Begor, 68, a real estate agent who lives in Calaveras County, Calif. “Why am I not able to control my eating? What is going on that I can’t put my fork down or step away from the refrigerator? I start eating, and I don’t stop.”

She was recently diagnosed with binge-eating disorder, a condition involving compulsive, out-of-control episodes of eating followed by shame, guilt and depression.

It’s the country’s most prevalent eating disorder, shared by more than 8.5 million Americans: Binge-eating disorder affects more people than do bulimia and anorexia combined, yet experts say it has long been underdiagnosed as a mental health issue.

Full story on guidelines for binge-eating at Bradenton Herald

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Preteen eating disorders on the rise

Preteen Eating DisordersThe number of young children hospitalized for eating disorders is on the rise amongst preteens and children in B.C., and that’s leading to an increasing demand for more education and treatment, according to health care workers.

"Girls as young as three are aware of fat and don’t want to be," says Mimi Hudson, director of community and provincial programs at Family Services of the North Shore.

"In Canada, there are kids as young as seven who have been diagnosed [with an eating disorder]. That’s pretty serious," she adds.

Aman Dhaliwal, a clinical resource nurse at the B.C. Children’s Hospital eating disorders inpatient clinic confirms the number of young patients is rising.

"It’s growing," says Dhaliwal. "There are more kids that are under the age of 13; probably about 20, 30 per cent of our population [at the inpatient clinic].”

Full story of preteen eating disorders at CBC News

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Motherlode: Signs of eating disorders often present in teenagers

Signs of an Eating Disorder"I didn’t just want to be thin," said Madi O’Dell, whose battle with an eating disorder began in her freshman year of high school. "People think you choose to have an eating disorder because you want to lose weight. But that’s not how it was for me. I wanted to be in control."

February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month. I talked to Madi, a former patient at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Eating Disorder Program, and to Dr. Jennifer Hagman, medical director there, because while I feel as if I’m "aware" of eating disorders — what adult who grew up in the last couple of generations isn’t? — I’m not sure I know as much as I think I do. I may think I know the basics of "prevention" (don’t emphasize weight and appearance, don’t obsess about your own weight in front of your children), but there’s one thing I’m certain that I don’t know: how to spot a developing eating disorder before it takes hold of a teenager’s life.

I asked Madi and Hagman to offer some specific advice for parents who might be "aware" of eating disorders, but still might not know how to recognize a disorder in its early stages. Both agreed that it isn’t easy, but each said that the signs are often there. Their advice:

Full story of signs of eating disorders at Portland Press Herald

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Bullying and Body Image: How Bullying Leads to Eating Disorders

Bullying Leads to Eating DisordersBullying can have long-lasting results on the bullied, and in some cases, may lead to eating disorders, according to UK Charity Beat. A recent study of 600 people in the UK during Anti-Bullying Week by Beat found that at least 90 percent of respondents admit to being bullied at some time in their lives, and more than 75 percent of individuals suffering from an eating disorder admit bullying is a significant cause of their disorder.

The researchers at Beat have found the link between bullying and eating disorders is rapidly increasing, with numbers up 67 percent since the same study was conducted two years ago. Just as concerning is the fact that more than 40 percent of respondents in the 2012 study said they were younger than 10 when they began to be bullied.

Full story of bullying and eating disorders at Huffington Post

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10 ways to educate yourself about eating disorders

Education on Eating DisordersBeing stick-skinny, skipping meals and purging are all classic signs of eating disorders.

But those aren’t the only signs, and the signs aren’t always obvious, said Dr. Sarah Hallberg, a physician at IU Health Arnett.Nationally, 20 million women and 10 million men have had an eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Here, Hallberg offered her tips on what to know about the potentially deadly disorders.

1. Avoid stereotypes. When people think of eating disorders, they think of a really skinny person, Hallberg said. She said in reality, many people with eating disorders are a normal weight or even overweight.

Full story of eating disorders at

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Eating Disorders Week 2013: Advice and help on how to cope

Eating Disorders HighlightedHaving run the North London Eating Disorders group for the last 11 years there is little I have not seen or heard. From severe emaciation to a wife who feared her husband would find out about her binge eating, I’ve seen most things.

Women come from all walks of life – eating disorders are classless and affect all ages. I’ve seen and supported teachers, nurses, students, graduates and middle aged mums. However we don’t see many men in the group which is not to say they’re not affected.

Men and eating disorders

We know from academic and epidemiology as well as Phoenix referral data that men do experience a lot of distress and are underrepresented in services and in support groups. There is a specialist men’s support organization called ‘Men Get Eating Disorders Too’. Information aimed at men is available from a team of men who have experienced eating disorders.

Full story of eating disorder week at The Independent

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Dangers of eating disorders

The Dangers of Eating DisordersTwo North County sophomores have been talking to students at the intermediate, middle, and high schools about the dangers of eating disorders.

Kyra Franklin first began battling bulimia when she was in sixth grade. She battled it for three years.

“The big thing is you never get over it,” she said. “… I’m the most recovered you can get.”

Kayla Webb’s three-year battle with anorexia just ended last year. She’s still going through treatment.

Early in the school year, Webb told her FCCLA teacher, Melinda Kemper, that she had an eating disorder and she wanted to do an FCCLA STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) Event to get the word out about the dangers.

Franklin said she would help.

While they’d been friends, neither knew that the other had battled an eating disorder.

Full story of eating disorder dangers at Daily Journal Online

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Practical Tips for Recovery From an Eating Disorder over the festive season

Recovering From an Eating DisorderThe thought of the Christmas holidays and celebrations are for some people ‘the happiest time of the year". For someone in recovery from an eating disorder, this could be a time of intense stress and anxiety. Where others are thinking of the visits with family and friends around drinks and snacks, Minced Pies, Fruit Cake, and of course the Christmas day meal at a table laden with indulgence of every kind, people in recovery from an eating disorder (ED) are dreading these occasions.

Here are some tips to help you through this joyful festive time:

  • Keep to your recovery program. Make sure your day is structured and that you keep to the recovery disciplines you have put in place.
  • Get up at a reasonable hour every day.
  • Start your day with inspirational reading or meditation.
  • Stick to your required mealplan – meals and snacks.
  • Socialise with family and friends – do not isolate.
  • Attend a 12-step meeting for extra support – do not neglect this privilege. 12 step meetings over the festive season have proved to be very special and intimate. This is a fellowship that never closes for Christmas or holidays.

Full story of recovering from eating disorders at Huffington Post UK

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Give The Gift of Health and Exercise this Holiday Season with a New Fitness Game for Kids: Introducing Flip2BFit

Children Holiday Health and ExerciseThis holiday season, help kids start the New Year off on the right foot through a new and exciting fitness board game that teaches kids about physical activity and nutrition. Introducing Flip2BFit, an interactive board game where kids develop self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills through stretching, strength building, cardio and yoga activities – no gym or video game needed! In addition to Flip2BFit, the company also offers an exciting game of memory called Bakari, which emphasizes the same physical fitness skills as Flip2BFit but also challenges the mind!

At the age of 12, Flip2BFit Founder Heather Parisi was a national gymnast when she suddenly broke her leg leaving her with a discrepancy in length in her legs. This injury caused her to be teased, bullied, and eventually led to an eating disorder, which she overcame. However, through fitness she was able to find a place to be “normal” as she was still able to participate (and excel) in sporting activities, ultimately becoming a collegiate diver. Her physical challenges coupled with her awareness of the growing obesity problem among children in the U.S., were the drivers to create a fitness game for kids.

Full story of health for the holidays at The San Francisco Chronicle

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