Takes from my notes made at a Regional Welfare Training Meeting given by Lynn Carol Maynes, PhD, from LDS Family Services:
Eating disorders are characterized by:
1) chaotic eating – purging, fasting, binging, yo-yo dieting, night eating, and skipping meals
2) deep desire to CONTROL weight – motivated by a desire to be “fit” versus “healthy”, motivated by a desire to deal with disturbing emotions; motivated by body dissatisfaction
Some statistics on eating disorders:
* 80% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
* 91% of college-age women had attempted to control weight by dieting.
* 80% of children report they have “dieted” by the time they reach 4th grade.
* The country with the most anorexic individuals is Japan. Number two is Brazil. In the United States, about 11 million have anorexia.
* Eating disorders have the highest death rate of all mental illnesses at 20% mortality.
* Two-thirds of those with eating disorders treated by LDS Social Services had anxiety as children.
* 90% of those with eating disorders treated by LDS Social Services also suffer from depression.
* Those who eat breakfast have a 300% LESS chance of becoming obese than those who skip breakfast.
What causes ED?
Genetics are about 30% responsible for causing eating disorders (body shape, brain, etc.). The rest is environmental (often family). Sister Maynes says “Genes load the gun; environment pulls the trigger.” Families of those who develop eating disorders are often described as “perfect, over-involved, chaotic” and have inconsistent rules.
Risk factors that contribute to the development of an eating disorder:
#1 – Mother diets
#2 – Sister diets
#3 – Parents restrict snacks
#4 – Parents restrict portion sizes
#5 – Parents have negative interpretation of child’s weight
#6 – Parents’ weight
Common personality characteristics of those with eating disorders treated by LDS Social Services:
* feel inadequate
* high academic achievement
* interested in traditional lifestyles
* none feel close to Heavenly Father, believing He is disappointed in and critical of them
Long-term effects/symptoms of eating disorders:
* bad teeth and bones
* heart damage
* diabetic problem
* gastrointestinal damage
* hormonal problems
* stomach aches
How can I help?
* Be a healthy role model
* If you are a woman, NEVER CRITCIZE YOUR APPEARANCE!!!
* If you are a man, NEVER CRITICIZE ANYONE’S APPEARANCE, ESPECIALLY A WOMAN OR CHILD!
* Become a critical viewer of the media, advertisements, and their messages.
* Don’t allow others to tease you about your appearance.
* Emphasize the importance of HEALTHY bodies, not THIN bodies.
* Encourage healthy lifestyesl through nutritious eating and playful activity.
* Allow children to determine when they are full.
* Do not use food as rewards.
* Discuss the dangers of dieting.
* Eat breakfast
* Take 10,000 steps per day
* Intuitively follow the Word of Wisdom.
* Eat when hungry.
* Eat until satisfied.
* Demonstrate moderate restraint in food selection.
* Overeat at times and undereat at times (it’s normal)!
* Trust your body to make up for your inaccuracy in eating.
* Leave food on your plate, knowing you can eat later.
* If you suspect an eating disorder, refer the individual to a trained professional. They may require medical treatment, nutritional counseling, hospitalization, individual therapy, and family therapy with an Eating Disorders Specialist.
“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow in their bones;
“And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treatures;
“And shall run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.
“And I, The Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.”