Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

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:
* anxious
* depressed
* feel inadequate
* immature
* perfectionist
* lonely
* controlling
* angry
* high academic achievement
* interested in traditional lifestyles
* none feel close to Heavenly Father, believing He is disappointed in and critical of them
* deceptive

Long-term effects/symptoms of eating disorders:
* osteoporosis
* bad teeth and bones
* heart damage
* infertility
* diabetic problem
* gastrointestinal damage
* hormonal problems
* seizures
* headaches
* fatigue
* stomach aches
* anemia

How can I help?
* Be a healthy role model
* 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.

Spiritual Promises:
“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.”
D&C 89:18-21

Websites: – intuitive eating

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