Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer Break, Research Trends

Similar to last year, I will be taking a blogging vacation this summer. I'll return in the fall, but will still be reading and responding to emails from you. Plus, you never know--if I see something particularly juicy, I might be compelled to post. Happy summer, everyone!

For now, I'll leave you with some updates regarding e.d. research, as reported by the American Psychological Association:

1) A DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) eating disorders work group has been meeting to determine if new eating disorder diagnoses should be created (for the manual's next revision) and/or if those categories that exist already should have more flexibility (e.g., allowing a woman who hasn't lost her period to still be diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa). The group is also exploring the diagnosis EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified), with the idea that since 60-65% of e.d. diagnoses land in this category, other, more structured, diagnoses may need to be included.

2) Researchers at The University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill are hard at work studying the genetic components of e.d.'s, looking at over 4,000 females in 13 different countries with anorexia. This study is set to be the largest genomewide study for anorexia to date. The more we understand about the biology of the illness, the more we can offer regarding biological interventions.

3) A recent study at Columbia University suggests that women with bulimia, as measured by fMRIs, show less activity in brain areas associated with self-regulation and impulse control. These results indicate that controlling a binge is not a simple act of exercising will-power; neurological deficits may be to blame.

4) Research is attending more to men with e.d.'s, particularly those who struggle with muscle dysmorphia, a condition in which males become preoccupied with muscle size. The disorder is associated with strict dieting, poor body image, and higher rates of other psychological conditions.

5) In a 2005 study, University of California Davis researchers studied the effects of a standard diet/exercise protocol versus a "Health at Any Size" condition (think intuitive eating, participating in enjoyable physical activity) in 78 obese chronic dieters. Results showed that after six months, both groups demonstrated health and psychological improvements, but only the diet group had dropped pounds.

At a two-year follow-up, however, the "Health at Any Size" participants remained at their pre-study weight and showed increased self-esteem, decreased depression and e.d. behaviors, and improved physical functioning (lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels). The diet group, however, had regained most of the weight they lost, but more important, had lost the health improvements they had previously achieved. They also experienced reduced self-esteem. The study reiterates what most of the literature suggests--diets typically result in weight restoration (if not more) and are often accompanied by pronounced feelings of failure.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog! IT is so helpful when I am working on my food addiction issues.

I stumbled on this free teleclass for people with eating disorders. Might be interesting?


A friend of mine uses this nutritionist. I have not, so I don't know what she is all about...but it's free, I figure it can't hurt?

Elizabeth said...

"3) A recent study at Columbia University suggests that women with bulimia, as measured by fMRIs, show less activity in brain areas associated with self-regulation and impulse control. These results indicate that controlling a binge is not a simple act of exercising will-power; neurological deficits may be to blame."

came across your blog and I disagree, not every woman has an eating disorder. That is too general...that is actually kind of like saying, "no one is normal"...well yes, no one is normal. That is a given, but if we are given a range, a spectrum, a scale, let's call it a-z because I believe 1-10 too narrow, you could call normal the people that fall in the middle of the alphabet and eating disordered those that lag on the outskirts...the extremes...overeaters and undereaters.

So, I placed your 3rd point in quotes, because this is very helpful to me, I think I probably heard it somewhere before and thought it was helpful then too. It has me wondering too, a type of question like, "what came first...chicken or the egg" I tend to think that the longer I languish in anorexia and bulimia the "dumber" "slower" and "less reactive" my brain becomes. I don't know if that is a result of the fact that I focus on weight and food and body alone...creating trauma and fear and anxiety and emotional strain and fear in myself at such a high level that it actually f*cks my brain chemistry up or if it is because I am literally killing brain cells with malnutrition, low potassium and lot...


I am 27 and when I was about 8 I was tested for IQ scoring and it was off the charts, 150+. I would be willing to place bets on it today that my IQ, which they say is actually impossible to alter...has been altered...due to...as this above quote says: decreased brain activity.

So, was I born with it? Is food addiction genetic? My grandmother was obese, my mother a YO-YO DIETER! But who really gives a shit. That knowledge certainly doesn't halt my car from driving into the Taco Bell or Circle K and dropping all my cash on a binge at midnight while my boyfriend thinks I'm in bed...

As I'm typing here, it has occured to me that you may not approve this post. I hope you at least will read it! It is hard to be in such isolation with an eating disorder, I'm hoping that it will do something for my brain, my brain activity...to write a little bit and use some other function of my lobes in there than to satisfy the craving and desire to be beautiful and full...


Linda said...

Are you coming back soon? ;-)

Balltungo said...

The foremost experts on ED are Dr Gerald "Teddy" Bear of The Biggest Fattest Blog on blog spot and Proud FA the Dean of feederism and fat rights activist and founder of the New Fat Acceptance. You can read his work on Bigger Fatter Blog on blog spot.

EDs are a myth for the most part and used to salve the guilt of gluttony. Fat Bastard of Bigger Fatter Blog is a therapist you helps people deal with the guilt of gluttony. Binge eating is normal healthy human behavior. Humans are supposed to binge. Today with food being ad yummy as it is it makes us fat. Being fat and gluttonous is good.

2 4 6 8 please do not regurgitate!

Rhiannon said...

Do you have a url for the University of California Davis study? I want to show a copy to my nutrition professor who really emphasizes caloric restriction for weight loss. Thanks!!