DSM

Ashley Gearhardt: "Shaming and blaming people rarely leads to successful change"

Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask for brief responses in return. Today's participant is the author of the Yale Food Addiction Scale, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, and a researcher bound for greatness. Her doctoral thesis at Yale was the subject of a report on ABC's "World News Tonight," a story, I should acknowledge, that I was interviewed for through through her referral. We met at a private conference on obesity at Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 2009.
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Name Ashley Gearhardt
How many different ways has it been misspelled? "At least 3. The 'd' is tricky."
Born when and where "A little farm town in Ohio. Covington. June 18, 1982."
Anything notable about the circumstances? "I was three weeks early. My mother went into labor because she was square dancing."
What's your family circumstance? "I'm married to a wonderful man who could not have had a more different upbringing. He's a legal research librarian from San Francisco who grew up in the city. And I have two miniature wiener dogs who run my life."


"10 Words or Less" with food-addiction researcher Ashley Gearhardt

Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today's participant is Ashley Gearhardt, author of the Yale Food Addiction Scale who is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan. I'll post an edited print version of the interview once it's completed, but for now, check out the video version. Run time is 25 minutes.


BED in the DSM

I've been remiss in reporting a key development in the fight for public recognition of food addiction: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, whose statute allows it to say what is a mental illness and what isn't, has indeed included binge-eating disorder in its fifth edition.


It's not just a word, it's an addiction

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When I advocate for food addiction, I often encounter rank derision about the idea, especially when the commenters can remain anonymous. As I’ve expressed before (borrowed from my clever friend Marty Lerner), their attitude is, “what’s next, air addiction?”


Fairburn on the DSM's shortcomings

The Oxford scholar Christopher Fairburn would have to be considered one of the world's foremost authorities on eating disorders. His bio includes:  twice a fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences; a governor of the Wellcome Trust, the largest international biomedical research foundation; recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Researcher Award by the Academy for Eating Disorders.


DSM won't change substantially

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[I lifted this entirely from a newsletter from edreferral@aol.com. As some readers will recall, my issue is the recognition of food addiction, but that never was even on the table. Recognition of Binge Eating Disorder is important, but progress comes way too slow.]

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today May 29, 2010. Primary source: American Psychiatric Association. Source reference: Walsh B, "Approaches to the diagnosis and classification of eating disorders in DSM-V" APA 2010; p. 106.


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