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Eating Disorders


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eating disorder prevention program


Eating Disorder Prevention Program Reduces Brain Reward Response to Supermodels

Objective brain imaging detects the neural effects of a behavioral prevention program

December 7, 2015—Change your attitude. Change your behavior. Change your brain. Discussing the costs of pursuing the unrealistic thin beauty ideal reduces its value for teens.

Scientists at Oregon Research Institute (ORI) have published unique research results indicating that a brief dissonance-based eating disorder prevention program (Body Project) alters how young women's brains respond to images of thin supermodels.

Previous results from Body Project studies showed that the intervention reduces pursuit of the unrealistic thin ideal espoused in the mass media. The current study provides the first evidence that it fundamentally alters how young women's brains respond to supermodels, which play a vital role in perpetuating this unattainable beauty idea. Whole brain imaging before and after the intervention revealed significant changes in brain responsivity when participants viewed images of supermodels. This is the first study to use objective brain imaging to detect the neural effects of a behavioral prevention program.
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Study Finds Teasing Girls about Weight Is More than a Playground Joke


Researchers examine unhealthy eating behaviors, body perception in minority girls

November 10, 2015—Current research about childhood obesity has illustrated the complexity of the epidemic--how it intertwines with hunger, poverty, food deserts and socioeconomic status. A new University of Houston study examined a practice that may seem like a harmless playground antic, but could have long-lasting and harmful effects to a young girl's perception of herself and of food.
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Teens with Bulimia Recover Faster When Parents Are Included in Treatment


Findings of largest randomized clinical trial challenge old belief to only treat patients individually

September 18, 2015—Involving parents in the treatment of adolescents with bulimia nervosa is more effective than treating the patient individually, according to a study led by Daniel Le Grange, PhD, Benioff UCSF Professor in children's health in the departments of psychiatry and pediatrics at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, and James Lock, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. The study is the third and now largest randomized clinical trial for adolescents with bulimia nervosa. This finding is counter to how clinicians are historically trained to care for adolescents with bulimia, which excludes the parents from treatment and counseling.
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Faster Weight Gain Can Be Safe for Hospitalized Anorexia Patients


New study challenges current standard recommendations.

July 8, 2015—A new study led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers of patients hospitalized with anorexia nervosa shows that a faster weight gain during inpatient treatment—well beyond what national standards recommend—is safe and effective.
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"Foodies" May Have a Health Advantage over Less Adventurous Eaters


Profiling the Adventurous Eater

July 2, 2015—Think you're a foodie? Adventurous eaters, known as "foodies," are often associated with indulgence and excess. However, a new Cornell Food and Brand Lab study shows just the opposite —adventurous eaters weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.
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A Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders

March 6, 2015—One of the toughest things a parent may ever have to face is being told their child has an eating disorder. Feelings of guilt can make us wonder whether we could have done things differently in the past, while the health and wellbeing of our child becomes our biggest fear for the future.
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Early Help is Crucial in Anorexia Nervosa


New research underlines the importance of getting help before chronicity sets in

Montreal; February 7, 2015— A study led by Howard Steiger, PhD, head of Montreal's Douglas Mental Health University Institute Eating Disorders Program (EDP), in collaboration with Linda Booij, a researcher with Sainte-Justine Hospital and an assistant professor at Queen's University, is the first to observe effects suggesting that the longer one suffers from active anorexia nervosa (AN), the more likely they are to show disorder-relevant alterations in DNA methylation.
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Brain Research Reveals New Hope for Patients with Anorexia Nervosa


Dresdner neuroimaging study of anorexia nervosa uncovers a positive side effect of weight restoration therapy: Brain shrinkage is reversible

December 3, 2014—Researchers from TU Dresden have uncovered good news for anorexia sufferers. Their novel findings obtained by measuring "cortical thickness" for the first time in the eating disorder are now published in the renowned journal "Biological Psychiatry."
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Who Are the Men and Boys Suffering from Anorexia?

September 29, 2014—A new study by researchers from the University of Montreal reveals the current state of knowledge about anorexia in men and boys. "Most of the knowledge about anorexia pertains to females. However, about 10% of persons affected are males, and we believe this figure is underestimated," says Laurence Corbeil-Serre, lead author of the study. "Our results show that there appear to be similarities between the behavioural symptoms of males and females, but certain particularities can be identified in males, especially related to personality, gender identity, and sexual orientation."
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Family-Based Therapies Can Treat Anorexia in Teens, Study Finds

September 24, 2014—Two different family-based therapies are both effective at combating anorexia nervosa in teenagers, according to the largest study ever to compare two such treatments for the life-threatening eating disorder.
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Anorexia Fueled by Pride About Weight Loss


Rutgers study finds that positive emotions could play a role in the deadly disorder

August 4, 2014—Positive emotions—even those viewed through a distorted lens—may play an exacerbating role in fueling eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, which has a death rate 12 times higher for females between the ages of 15 and 24 than all other causes of death combined, according to a Rutgers study.
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Indoor Tanning by Teens Linked to Unhealthy Weight Control Methods


Indoor tanning may be marker of eating disorder-related behaviors, suggests recent study

Philadelphia, PA; April 4, 2014—High school students who use indoor tanning also have higher rates of unhealthy weight control behaviors—such as taking diet pills or vomiting to lose weight, reports a study in the April Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
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'Love Hormone' Could Provide New Treatment for Anorexia

March 12, 2014—Oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone', could provide a new treatment for anorexia nervosa, according to new research by a team of British and Korean scientists.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Benefits Patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder


Patients reported considerable improvements in symptoms and disability

PROVIDENCE, RI; February 11, 2014—In a recent study, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital found significant benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy as a treatment modality for patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
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Eating Disorders More Common in Males than Realized


Broader diagnostic criteria could help identify illness in boys

BOSTON, MA; November 4, 2013—Parents and doctors assume eating disorders very rarely affect males. However, a study of 5,527 teenage males from across the U.S., published Nov.4 in JAMA Pediatrics, challenges this belief. Boston Children's Hospital researchers found 17.9 percent of adolescent boys were extremely concerned about their weight and physique. These boys were more likely to start engaging in risky behaviors, including drug use and frequent binge drinking.
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International Study Provides New Genetic Clue to Anorexia

LA JOLLA, CA; September 11, 2013—The largest DNA-sequencing study of anorexia nervosa has linked the eating disorder to variants in a gene coding for an enzyme that regulates cholesterol metabolism. The finding suggests that anorexia could be caused in part by a disruption in the normal processing of cholesterol, which may disrupt mood and eating behavior.
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Obese Teenagers Who Lose Weight at Risk for Developing Eating Disorders


Teens also likely to go undiagnosed, develop more severe medical complications

ROCHESTER, MN; September 9, 2013—Obese teenagers who lose weight are at risk of developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, Mayo Clinic researchers imply in a recent Pediatrics article. Eating disorders among these patients are also not being adequately detected because the weight loss is seen as positive by providers and family members.
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Teen Eating Disorders Increase Suicide Risk


Johns Hopkins researchers find connection between body dissatisfaction, depressive/anxious symptoms, and binge eating.

NEW YORK; July 22, 2013—Is binge eating a tell-tale sign of suicidal thoughts? According to a new study of African American girls, by Dr. Rashelle Musci and colleagues from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, those who experience depressive and anxious symptoms are often dissatisfied with their bodies and more likely to display binge eating behaviors. These behaviors put them at higher risk for turning their emotions inward, in other words, displaying internalizing symptoms such as suicide. The study is published online in Springer's journal, Prevention Science.
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Talk to Teens about Health, Not Weight, Say Researchers

June 24, 2013—Conversations between parents and adolescents that focus on weight and size are associated with an increased risk for unhealthy adolescent weight-control behaviors, according to a study published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.
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Connection Error” in the Brains of Anorexics

January 24, 2013—Researchers at Germany's Ruhr Universität-Bochum (RUB) have found that anorexics have altered connectivity in two brain regions crucial for the perception of body image. The stronger this “connection error” was, the more overweight the respondents considered themselves. “These alterations in the brain could explain why women with anorexia perceive themselves as fatter, even though they are objectively underweight” says Prof. Dr. Boris Suchan of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Ruhr-Universität. The research appears in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.
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Review Provides New Insights into the Causes of Anorexia

July 21, 2009—New imaging technology provides insight into abnormalities in the brain circuitry of patients with anorexia nervosa (commonly known as anorexia) that may contribute to the puzzling symptoms found in people with the eating disorder. In a review paper published on line in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Walter Kaye, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues describe dysfunction in certain neural circuits of the brain which may help explain why people develop anorexia in the first place, and behaviors such as the relentless pursuit of dieting and weight loss.
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