binge eating

The quick fix

Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.”

We venerate the quick fix. Don't have the time, don’t have the money, don’t have the willingness to honestly examine a problem and invest in a real solution.

(How do you identify a “real” solution? Hint: It solves. When it stops solving, it’s not a solution any more, and maybe never was.)


Loss-of-control eating in youths is powerful predictor

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Before Friday morning’s presentation at the BEDA national conference by Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, I would have assumed that binge eating in children is an excellent predictor of developing binge-eating disorder and other conditions.


RDs, close-minded, again (or is that still?)

As I've described before, registered dietitians scoff at the idea of food addiction almost monolithically, a circumstance I got to observe again last weekend at the Binge Eating Disorder Association national conference in Bethesda, Md.


Link between binge eating, other addictive behavior

Though not every addict experiences the same lack of control for every addictive substance or behavior, an addict is an addict.

This is borne out by the phenomenon of switching addictions, whose classic example is, for me, old AA meetings: They were chokingly thick with cigarette smoke and had officers assigned to ensure the meetings would be adequately supplied with coffee (with or without sugar and cream) and donuts.

And, surely you know someone who, say, quit smoking and gained 40 pounds.


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.


Further word from BED pioneer

I recently came aware of therapist Amy Pershing via a blog post on psychcentral.com in which she was interviewed. I found a lot to agree with in what she said — that binge eating isn’t diet failure but is an eating disorder deserving of treatment, not societal scorn, for example.

But one passage bothered me enough to track her down for a few more questions. Here’s the passage, which came in response to interviewer Margarita Tartakovsky’s question: “What are common challenges that make it tougher to overcome BED or problems with overeating?”

”From a cultural perspective, we begin to teach people to distrust and dishonor their bodies from childhood. We do not, as a society, value size or shape diversity; in fact weigh bias and stigma fundamentally underlies any eating disorder. “Thin” has to be presumed more valued for the symptoms to coalesce. We are taught to distrust our food preferences and our appetites, especially as girls, from early in life. We are taught to “exercise,” but not to play. Children learn their bodies are to be controlled, not honored. So the ability to hear cues, to really feel the positive impact of playing and eating well, typically must be relearned.”

Additionally, weight and being “fat” is so completely vilified now that the idea of body wisdom is more remote than it has even been. We have a “war on obesity.” Literally now people are encouraged to be at odds with their bodies. Then, we are sold a profound “bill of goods” by the diet industry (with a 95% failure rate over 6 months), further removing us from simply listening to our needs. The current system makes recovery a veritable act of defiance. You have to be a renegade just to be in your body.


BEDA spokeswoman named

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Chenese LewisI'm used to learning about causes from hired spokespeople, but in this case, it's the other way around.

The Binge Eating Disorder Association has hired Chenese Lewis as its spokeswoman, and I've heard of it, but not of her. So I went to her website, of course, and I learned that she's making a good career of being of a larger size.

She was crowned the first Miss Plus America in 2003, and she's been on Dr. Phil and in Figure Magazine. She is the chief creative officer of Chenese Lewis Productions, which was founded "on the principal [sic] that you don't have to be size 0 to be beautiful."


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