In the News
Jane Miceli, MD, Medical Director of Adult Inpatient and Residential Services, is quoted in the June 2013 Prevention article on body image, which discusses a new study on how having a distorted version of yourself unconciously affects your physical actions. Read an excerpt of the article below or to view it in its entirety click here.
What they found: while patients with eating disorders overestimated their size on a much more severe scale, healthy women were just as likely to unconsciously rotate their shoulders to “fit” through openings 25% wider than their actual shoulder width.
“Psychologically, the way people experience the size of their bodies is often unconsciously tied to their emotions,” says Nina Savelle-rocklin, PsyD, a psychoanalyst and eating disorder specialist in Los Angeles. Negative body image is not limited to teenagers or females or even people with eating disorders. And whether or not you’re aware of the physical signals you’re sending, you can make an effort to mend the psychology behind them. “The good news is, you can find the truth by going beyond the mirror and looking inward, you can change your distorted view of yourself and feel good,” she says. Here are some tips from industry experts on viewing yourself in a more realistic light:
Buy a yoga mat. Yoga can help reacquaint yourself with your body, says Jane Miceli, MD, Medical Director of Adult Inpatient and Residential Services for Eating Recovery Center in Denver. “You’re not just going through the motions, but focus on what each pose and breath means for your body.”
Get inspired. “Identify women you admire and look for ways you can adapt their philosophy,” suggests Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist, columnist, and author.
Live consistently. Ask yourself, what would you like to be remembered for in your life, says Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, executive director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia. “Does this involve your body image? Live consistently with these goals and live based on the meaning you would like to give it.”
Practice non-judgmental observation. Take the Dr. Deibler challenge: Stand in front of a mirror, look closely, and describe your features—without using negative or judgmental language.
We can’t help but express emotions physically. And like a sport or a new cooking skill, confidence and self-acceptance takes practice. Use the results of this new study as a reminder to keep the signals you send out to the world in check—and that body image issues, while normal, can be mended.
Posted in In the News •
5th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference Offers Professional Education from Leading Eating Disorders Experts
Registration now open for educational conference focused on research, eating disorders trends and emerging treatment best practices
Outstanding opportunities for professional development and intensive exploration of the latest in research and innovative eating disorders treatments are highlights of the 5th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference, to be held in Denver, Colo., August 23-24, 2013. Nationally recognized eating disorders experts and behavioral healthcare professionals dedicated to understanding and treating eating disorders will converge in the Mile High City to discuss the medical and clinical breakthroughs and treatment best practices, providing an invaluable opportunity for attendees across various disciplines to learn from and connect with thought leaders in the field.
“Supporting the dedicated professionals in the eating disorders treatment field through education, networking and collaboration is a key tenant of the Eating Recovery Center Foundation,” said Julie Holland, MHS, CEDS, chief marketing officer at Eating Recovery Center. “This conference is intended to foster best practice sharing from which our colleagues from across the country can learn and grow as treatment professionals.”
The 5th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference features an interactive educational program alongside collaboration among all areas of the eating disorders treatment community. Physicians, therapists, dietitians, nurses and advocacy organizations will gather to provide attendees access to the latest information on developing industry standards, recent trends and evolving treatment while allowing them the opportunity to increase their knowledge, build on their clinical treatment skills and accrue continuing education credits. The 2013 eating disorders conference will explore topics including:
- Medical care of patients with anorexia and bulimia
- New developments in the field of eating disorders treatment
- Understanding and addressing patient resistance
- Eating disorder causes, treatment and the recovery process
- Sustainable eating disorder recovery for children and adolescents
- Ethical challenges in the treatment of eating disorders
- Nutrition and meal plan compliance in eating disorder recovery
- Expert panel featuring Ken Weiner, MD, FAED, CEDS; Craig Johnson, PhD, FAED, CEDS; Ovidio Bermudez, MD, FAAP, FSAHM, FAED, CEDS; and Emmett Bishop, MD, FAED, CEDS
A pre-conference workshop, “Understanding and Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in the Treatment of Eating Disorders,” on Friday, August 23, is offered in advance of the standard conference program, and will be led by a multidisciplinary team of Eating Recovery Center experts. The workshop includes conference handouts and resources and provides four education credits. Workshop registration is $50 with conference registration and $75 without conference registration.
On or before July 26, 2013, registration for the 5th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference is $175. Registration includes all sessions, up to 16 continuing education credits, conference handouts and resources, lunch and dinner on Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday, as well as refreshment breaks. Discounted rates are available for student registration and single-day attendance. Early registration is recommended. Download the full conference invitation at www.EatingRecoveryCenter.com, or register online here.
Continuing education credits for conference attendees are available for any master’s-level professionals through National Board for Certified Counselors, registered dietitians through Commission on Dietetic Registration, registered nurses through Colorado Nurses Association, California MFTs and LCSWs through California Board of Behavioral Sciences and Psychologists through American Psychological Association. Applications are pending for physicians through the American Medical Association (continuing medical education) and social workers through National Association of Social Workers (NASW).
Established in 2012, the Eating Recovery Center Foundation is a 501c3 seeking to achieve a three-fold mission: provide professionals in the eating disorders field with education and development programs that increase their knowledge and strengthen clinical treatment skills; support research initiatives that deepen understanding of these illnesses and how they can best be treated; and provide scholarships to Eating Recovery Center patients requiring additional financial resources to complete a course of treatment.
For more information or to register for the 5th Annual Eating Recovery Center Foundation Eating Disorders Conference, visit http://bit.ly/EatingDisordersConference2013 or call 720-258-4021.
Chief Marketing Officer Julie Holland, MHS, CEDS is the National Eating Disorders Examiner. Read an exceprt from her blog on how retail clothing chains impact our perceptions of “ideal” size and body shape, or to read it in its entirety, click here.
The average American woman is a size 12 or 14, yet the normal size of a mannequin in a retail store is a size 4 or 6. Like it or not, retail clothing chains impact our perceptions of “ideal” size and body shape; and recently, two of these retailers were in the news for their stances on this very topic.
Last month, H&M, an international clothing retailer, made headlines with a swimsuit ad featuring plus-size model Jennie Runk. While some critics disparaged H&M for this ad, as well as its use of size 12 mannequins in H&M’s retail stores, the company received significant positive attention and support for using Runk as a normal model in its pervasive ad campaigns, and not just in content to specifically promote its plus-size styles.
Conversely, national teen clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch recently came under scrutiny when the fact the retailer does not stock women’s XL or XXL sizes came to light. A Business Insider article succinctly organizes the philosophy of the brand, which has been clearly articulated by CEO Mike Jeffries on several occasions. Simply put, Abercrombie & Fitch wants the good-looking, “cool kids” as clientele and the company does not believe that plus-sized individuals can be cool or good-looking. The brand’s stance on the definition of beauty and who deserves to wear its clothing stands in sharp contrast to that of several competitors, who not only offer sizes XL and XXL but are also increasingly developing plus-size fashion lines.
Compared to sales and brand awareness, fostering healthy body image in women and teenage girls may not rank among the top priority for clothing retailers. However, these businesses would be wise to be thoughtful about and take responsibility for the messages they communicate to consumers, particularly young Americans. For example, H&M’s use of Runk as a swimsuit model debunks the stereotypical image of a model, equates health and beauty, and encourages women and girls to accept their bodies, no matter the size. Abercrombie & Fitch, on the other hand, has brazenly adopted a stance on sizing that promotes an exclusionary, unrealistic beauty ideal and sends a potentially dangerous message to women and girls of different shapes and sizes, particularly those millions of Americans who are predisposed to developing an eating disorder.
Clinical Director of the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program Bonnie Brennan, MA, LPC, speaks to Weightless blog on treating binge eating disorder. Read an excerpt from the blog below, or to view it in its entirety click here.
Treating Binge Eating Disorder: Q&A with Bonnie Brennan
Today, Bonnie Brennan, MA, LPC, clinical director at Eating Recovery Center’s Adult Partial Hospitalization Program, delves into what causes BED (dieting is a common trigger) and how to effectively treat it.
Q: What do we know about what causes BED?
A: Although the exact causes for binge eating disorder are unknown, there are some potential triggers that, for individuals genetically predisposed to eating disorders, could cause BED behaviors.
After all, eating disorders, such as BED, are biologically based illnesses and do run in families. Individuals with an immediate family member who has struggled with disordered eating behaviors are more likely to face their own eating disorders struggles.
There is also a fair amount of research citing dieting could lead to binge eating. When an individual restricts calories or certain foods or entire food groups during the day, there is an increased likelihood that he or she will overeat or binge in the evening to compensate for earlier restrictive behaviors.
We live in a “dieting culture” that identifies – even strives to live by – “good” and “bad” foods. For individuals struggling with BED, restricting a certain food or food group increases the likelihood that he or she will binge on any food (not necessarily the one they are restricting) in an attempt to satisfy the craving for that food.
There is also a strong emotional component when it comes to BED. For some people, food is used as a way to manage depression, grief, anxiety, stress, etc. And for people who do binge, they report certain numbness and almost feeling disassociated after a binge; however, this quickly shifts to feelings of shame and guilt for having binged.
Q: BED is highly treatable. What are the effective treatments for this disorder?
A: Most of the time, BED is treated on an outpatient level of care, where an individual is meeting with his or her treatment team once to a few times each week, but maintains his or her life at home. However, if there are complications or additional medical issues, then BED can be assessed for a higher level of care.
For example, if an individual has had gastric bypass surgery or a lap band procedure in the past and experienced complications, it may be most impactful for him or her to be treated at an inpatient level of care to stabilize any medical issues.
Due to the underlying emotional issues seen with BED, therapy is quite helpful to discuss emotions and feelings. As for specific treatment models, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be helpful for patients struggling with binge eating disorder. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses emotions, maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes through a goal-oriented process.
Groups such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA) can also be helpful for BED patients as they provide a level of “peer support” that is crucial for individuals struggling with or managing this disorder.
At Eating Recovery Center, we have found acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to be quite helpful for patients struggling with BED. With ACT, patients are encouraged to accept the negative thoughts or feelings they may have and commit to overcoming them, but not changing or eradicating them.
Q: If someone thinks they have BED, what should be their next steps?
A: If someone is concerned he or she may be struggling with binge eating disorder, it is important to consult with a physician and seek an assessment from a qualified eating disorders specialist at a local eating disorders treatment center.
At Eating Recovery Center, we offer a confidential chat option through the website where individuals who are either concerned about themselves or a friend or loved one can chat with a Master’s level therapist, get their questions answered and learn what next steps should be, specific to their situation.
Many individuals struggle the most with BED behaviors in the evenings, therefore, many treatment programs, such as Eating Recovery Center’s Evening Intensive Outpatient Program, and group meetings, such as with OA, are available during this time frame.
Q: Anything else you’d like individuals to know about BED?
A: For any of the eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, BED or eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), there are similar characteristics; most importantly individuals use the intake of food – or lack thereof – and manipulation of their bodies to cope with problems and confusing emotions.
One thing that is important to note: BED patients often feel as though they do not deserve eating disorders treatment unless they are skinny. It is critical to dispel the myth that eating disordered individuals must be skinny in an effort to encourage everyone to seek the treatment they deserve and experience lasting…recovery.
30-year veteran of Children’s Hospital Colorado lends extensive experience and strategic insight to rapidly growing, Denver-based eating disorders treatment hospital system.
Eating Recovery Center, an international center providing comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS and binge eating disorder, today announced that it has named Len Dryer as its new chief financial officer. A healthcare executive with 30 years of experience at one of the nation’s premier pediatric medical centers, Dryer is tasked with advancing and overseeing the organization’s financial systems and infrastructure to support Eating Recovery Center’s current expansion plans as well as its long-term growth strategy.
Since its inception in 2008, Eating Recovery Center has grown from a single 12 bed/12 partial hospitalization slot adult behavioral hospital to an six-facility hospital network in Denver, California and Washington treating adults, adolescents and children with 46 beds/128 partial hospitalization slots. In an effort to expand patient access to care throughout the United States, Eating Recovery Center has partnered with Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program in northern California and The Moore Center in Bellevue, Wash.
Throughout his 30-year career in financial administration at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dryer served in several roles, including staff accountant, supervisor of accounting, controller, and most recently, senior vice president/chief financial officer. During the 23 years he managed the pediatric hospital system’s financial structure and reporting as senior vice president/chief financial officer, Dryer oversaw the construction of the new Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Fitzsimons campus and skillfully issued more than $710 million in debt financing. In addition to these achievements, he was instrumental in strategic planning and leadership development during his tenure at the hospital.
“Len’s extensive healthcare experience combined with his proven ability to consult, advise, coach, communicate and implement effective strategies will surely be an asset to Eating Recovery Center in light of the company’s recent growth and its future expansion plans,” said Kenneth L. Weiner, MD, FAED, CEDS, chief executive officer and founding partner of Eating Recovery Center. “His strategic thinking capabilities and analytical skills have been cultivated and perfected through a lengthy tenure and increasingly responsible positions at a large, nationally recognized medical center, and I’m confident that Eating Recovery Center will benefit greatly from that expertise.”
In addition to his service to Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dryer has volunteered his time and expertise at several non-profit organizations, including CHCA, NACHRI, Miller Safety Center and March of Dimes. He most currently served as board chair for Colorado Access, a Medicaid/Medicare health plan, and is a board member for Rocky Mountain Youth, an organization providing primary care to underserved children and adolescents. Dryer earned a BS in accounting from the University of Nebraska, as well as a MBA from the University of Colorado.
Eating Recovery Center’s Clinical Director of Outpatient Services Karen Trevithick, PsyD, CEDS, speaks to Weightless blog on the facts about binge eating disorder. Read an excerpt from the Q&A below or to view it in its entirety click here.
Facts About Binge Eating Disorder: Q&A with Karen Trevithick
Binge eating disorder (BED) is finally becoming an official diagnosis in the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental health professionals (DSM 5). So this is a good time to highlight facts about the disorder, because, unfortunately, it’s still misunderstood (and not talked about much).
For starters, you might be surprised to learn that BED is actually the most common eating disorder. It affects 3.5 percent of American women and 2 percent of American men.
Most importantly, BED is highly treatable. Effective treatments are available, and recovery is absolutely possible. You can have a healthy and peaceful relationship with food, weight and yourself.
Below, Karen Trevithick, PsyD, CEDS, clinical director for Eating Recovery Center’s Outpatient Services, reveals the biggest myths about BED, why it’s so misunderstood, why dieting doesn’t work and signs you can watch out for.
Q: Why is binge eating disorder so misunderstood in our society?
A: Binge eating is characterized by consuming large quantities of food in one setting, feeling numb or disconnected while doing so, and possibly losing track of time. Repeated episodes of binge eating may lead to weight gain – and over time, may contribute to one’s body mass index falling in the obese range.
In our society, there is a significant focus on the “thin ideal,” which leads to an emphasis on diet and exercise. Overall, there is a greater acceptance of restraint and control. Someone struggling with BED is likely to experience shame, not only for feeling out of control with his/her eating, but for behaving in a manner that is almost contrary to what is valued in our society. The combination of individual shame and cultural acceptance of the thin ideal provides little opportunity for an open dialogue about BED.
Q: What are the biggest misconceptions about this disorder?
A: Individuals who are within their weight range, or even under weight, could not possibly struggle with BED, only obese individuals struggle. While weight gain and obesity can be signifiers of BED, symptom severity (such as intensity and frequency of binge episodes, feeling numb or disconnected during binge episodes, and/or feeling a loss of control while eating) is a far better indicator.
All obese individuals must be struggling with BED. It is currently determined that BED has an estimated prevalence of 3.5 percent in adults. The hallmark trait of BED is the psychological distress caused by a relationship with food.
Additionally, there are typically psychiatric issues such as anxiety and/or depression that individuals with BED may also face. So although an individual may be slightly overweight or obese, that does not automatically mean he or she is struggling with BED.
Executive Director Jennifer Lombardi, MFT, of Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program is featured in this US News & World Report article on binge eating disorder and how it is now listed as an official diagnosis in the DSM-5. Read an excerpt of the article below or to view it in its entirety, click here.
Binge Eating Disorder: A Diagnosis for Healing
By age 6, Chevese Turner had already begun binging. It started with a box of ice cream cones she snuck into her bedroom. She then proceeded to devour them all. “I was always sneaking food. I would hide it. I would store it,” says Turner, founder and CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association. “It wasn’t necessarily that I even ate more than most people, but I was preoccupied with food. I was essentially learning to use food to cope with life.”
Her eating pattern of binging, followed by restriction – the latter a form of compensation and punishment that actually set her up for more binging – continued into adulthood. Eventually, Turner, now 45, conquered the disorder by accepting herself and learning healthy coping skills to handle stress.
But it wasn’t until receiving the right diagnosis that she could begin to recover, a process that only fully began in 2010. And that’s why Turner and others are celebrating the fact that binge eating disorder will receive an official diagnosis in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, the standard reference book for mental health professionals, scheduled to be released later this month.
“It’s recognition that what we have experienced is an eating disorder,” Turner says. “What that means on a larger scale is that people with issues around food, and a lot of the feelings that go along with it, will finally have all of that validated, that this is something that they’re not alone in.”
The move also paves the way for more research, treatments and, potentially, insurance coverage. However, payment hinges on parity laws, which call for equal coverage of mental health disorders, but vary by state.
“In most states, parity law only encompasses anorexia and bulimia, so what that has meant is that these conditions typically receive more comprehensive coverage for treatment,” explains Jennifer Lombardi, a marriage and family therapist and executive director of Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program in Sacramento, Calif. The new classification of binge eating disorder could come under parity laws that offer people more treatment options, Lombardi says. “Hopefully this will begin a dialogue [and help health care officials] work with insurance companies to provide better care and more comprehensive care.”
Binge eating disorder was included in the current DSM, released in 1994, as an “eating disorder not otherwise specified” – a catch-all category – requiring further study. Since then, more than 1,000 articles have been published on the subject. The articlesreveal the “significant distress,” anxiety and mood disturbances associated with the disorder and the effictiveness of psychological treatments and medications, says Timothy Walsh, chair of the DSM-5 Eating Disorders Work Group of the American Psychiatric Association. “It was widely agreed that mentioning binge eating disorder only as an example of an eating disorder not otherwise specified was of limited help to individuals who suffered with the disorder and to the professionals attempting to assist them,” he says.
Posted in In the News •
In the latest installment of his blog, Dr. Weiner discusses how binge eating disorder is now included as an official diagnosis in the DSM-5. Read an excerpt of the blog post below, or click here to view the article in its entirety at huffingtonpost.com.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is perhaps one of the most widely misunderstood mental disorders despite the fact that it affects as many as 3.5 percent of American women and 2 percent of American men. This illness, which is characterized by compulsive, out-of-control episodes of eating followed by shame, guilt and depression has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a mental health issue, due in large part to BED’s classification as only a provisional eating disorder diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
However, this serious mental illness, which can significantly impact quality of life and is often accompanied by serious medical and psychiatric conditions, will be included as an official diagnosis in the fifth edition of the manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose and treat mental disorders, due out this month. This important change to the DSM — the first significant update to the eating disorders section of the manual in almost 20 years — will clearly define diagnostic criteria for BED and validate the illness as a treatable behavior pattern.
Previously, clinicians that observed the symptoms of BED in their patients had to assign a diagnosis of eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), a “catch-all diagnosis” referring to abnormal eating without all the symptoms needed to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. For example, a person with EDNOS may binge eat and purge afterwards, but does so with less frequency or intensity than the criteria outlines for a diagnosis of bulimia. The new classification of BED in the latest edition of the DSM confirms that binge eating is a separate issue people struggle with, and validates destructive eating behaviors and patterns of thinking that professionals in the healthcare community have seen become increasingly prevalent.
It is clear that the inclusion of BED as an official diagnosis in the DSM-5 provides important validation and definition to an illness that impacts the health and quality of life of so many men, women and children. However, it remains to be seen how the official designation of BED as an eating disorder diagnosis will impact access to care for the patients and families that need it, particularly with regard to insurance coverage for specialized BED treatment.
The issue of insurance coverage for BED treatment has to do with mental health parity laws. Mental health parity laws mandate that coverage for treatment of biologically based mental illnesses is no less extensive than the coverage provided for any other physical illness. However, parity laws vary by state and often differ with regard to the specific parity requirements for eating disorders; in other words, what conditions are considered “equal” and qualify for coverage. In fact, while more and more state mental health parity laws require that insurers cover treatment for anorexia and bulimia as well as several common psychiatric conditions (including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder), EDNOS — the umbrella, “catch-all diagnosis” previously used to diagnose BED — has not traditionally been included on the parity law list of conditions to be covered.
Official Recognition of Binge Eating Disorder Will Change Lives, According to Eating Recovery Center
Eating disorders treatment center explains four reasons that acknowledgment of the most common and often misdiagnosed eating disorder will positively impact millions of men, women and children.
Binge eating disorder (BED) will become an official mental health diagnosis this May when it is included – for the first time – in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the manual that mental health professionals use to diagnose and treat mental disorders. According to Eating Recovery Center, an international center providing comprehensive treatment for eating disorders, this shift has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of individuals struggling with this devastating disease.
“BED has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a mental health issue, due in large part to its classification as only a provisional eating disorders diagnosis in the DSM,” said Emmett Bishop, MD, FAED, CEDS, founding partner and medical director of outpatient services and program development for Eating Recovery Center. “The acceptance of BED as a recognized and treatable mental illness has the potential to lead to more access to care, open new avenues to insurance coverage and diminish the stigma that many of its sufferers have faced.”
BED is characterized by compulsive, out-of-control episodes of eating followed by shame, guilt and depression and is often accompanied by serious medical and psychiatric comorbidities. The most common eating disorder, BED affects as many as 3.5 percent of American women and 2 percent of American men.
To help healthcare providers and the general community better understand why this shift is so significant, Eating Recovery Center shares the top four reasons why BED’s inclusion in the DSM-V is a life-changing development for the millions of individuals struggling with this disease.
1. Better understanding and less stigma. With a clearly defined set of diagnostic criteria, healthcare professionals will be better able to help patients and families identify the issue and seek effective eating disorders treatment. In addition, the acknowledgement of BED as an officially recognized mental illness is likely to help families and friends understand that their loved one cannot simply “go on a diet,” “stop eating so much” or “sign up for Weight Watchers.” The underlying issues are much more complex.
2. Validation of BED symptoms. Not merely a casual description of occasional overeating, BED is a serious condition with clearly articulated diagnostic criteria. People with BED have learned to cover up negative feelings such as anger, sadness, boredom, stress or guilt through food. Binge eating behaviors can also be accompanied by an unhealthy preoccupation with body image, size and compulsive behaviors, including over-exercise or over-spending.
3. Increased access to eating disorders treatment coverage. Mental health parity laws require that coverage for treatment of biologically based mental illnesses, such as eating disorders, be no less extensive than the coverage provided for any other physical illness. Although the inclusion of BED as an official diagnosis in the DSM-V does not guarantee improved coverage, clinicians are hopeful that the change will further validate this illness and spur changes to insurance coverage standards that could improve access to BED treatment.
4. Less misdiagnosis among BED sufferers. Because BED is frequently misunderstood, it is not uncommon for clinicians to recommend patients to seek help for their weight issues at weight-loss or gastric bypass clinics. In reality, these individuals require binge eating disorder treatment to address their underlying relationship with food, eating and body image. In addition, BED is also often overlooked in individuals that are normal weighted due to widespread misperception that sufferers of BED must be overweight.
“For too long, people who have struggled with binge eating disorder have been stigmatized and misunderstood,” said Dr. Bishop. “The classification of binge eating disorder as an official mental illness will help us promote education, dismantle common misperceptions and help patients and families secure appropriate treatment that supports lasting recovery.”
In response to increasing demand for specialized binge eating disorder treatment, Eating Recovery Center offers comprehensive binge eating disorder programming. For more information about binge eating disorder treatment, visit EatingRecoveryCenter.com.
Last week, Eating Recovery Center was featured in a Denver Post article on how the city of Denver has become a hub for treating eating disorders among both genders. Read an excerpt of the article below, or to view it in its entirety, click here.
Although men and boys make up an increasing percentage of the estimated 10 million Americans who struggle with eating disorders, few residential treatment centers will help them.
The four largest eating disorder clinics in Denver — ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Eating Disorder Center of Denver and Eating Recovery Center — are on a very short list of U.S. programs that accept both genders for treatment of anorexia and bulimia.
Today, males make up more than 10 percent of patients with eating disorders, according to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders.
“The cultural pressure around the drive for thinness has over the years expanded beyond the target audience of women and teenagers,” said Dr. Jennifer Hagman, director of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s eating disorder program. “It’s really not leaving anyone out anymore.”
Early detection a key
The Denver centers have seen patients as young as 7 and as old as 65 in various stages of bulimia and anorexia. Catching the disorders sooner, within three to six months of onset, improves the odds of recovery, Hagman said.
“For people who move on to have a more persistent and chronic illness, two years or more of length, the news is not so good,” she said. “You start to see higher mortality rates with suicide being first and heart attacks being second.”
A study published in Archives of General Psychiatry in 2011 reported that individuals with anorexia nervosa die more frequently than people with any other mental illness. The other eating disorders weren’t far behind.
Of the 110 patients the Eating Disorder Center saw last year, 80 percent were from Colorado. Children’s Hospital saw a similar trend with 60 percent from the state.
ACUTE and Eating Recovery Center have more patients travel to Colorado for treatment. Seventy-five percent of patients treated by Eating Recovery Center came from other states in 2012. About 90 percent of ACUTE patients are from other states.
Tamara Pryor, director of Eating Disorder Center, said Colorado’s unique eating culture — with so many residents having special diets like gluten-free or vegan — contributes to the high number of local patients. “If not eating disorders, a lot of disordered eating happens,” she said.
In fact, some of the most dire cases in the country travel to ACUTE at Denver Health for treatment. These are people with dangerously low body mass index numbers. For example, a 5-foot-10 male’s normal weight ranges from 129 to 173½ pounds with a BMI ranging from 18.5 to 24.9. ACUTE patients typically have a BMI closer to 8 to 15, and weigh 56 to 104½ pounds.
Posted in In the News •