Must weight loss be a definition of recovery?

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So is weight loss an important measure of whether eating-disorder treatment is working? Even getting past the eating-disorder corners that don’t address overweight, the answer is apparently not.

During her opening remarks at the Binge Eating Disorder Association national conference last Friday, founder Chevese Turner argued for a definition of recovery that doesn’t include it. Later, during a researchers’ panel, Denise Wilfley of the Washington University School of Medicine, chimed in, saying that “if someone is having a stable weight, that’s a very important outcome.”

No argument there. But is it good enough only not to not worsen the condition?

I have certainly never believed that obesity is a disease, so it shouldn’t be the focus of treatment. But my obesity was definitely a symptom of my dysfunction, and it stands to reason that if I get appropriate treatment, then the symptom should abate.

Maybe I just need additional sensitizing — always possible — but losing excess weight has always been a favorable outcome in my thinking. I know a few people for whom weight loss was not physiologically possible — because of steroid intake, for example — but I’d expect a treatment standard to incorporate that.

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