Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

People with an Eating Disorder Need Extra Support During the Holidays

27.11.2008
While the bountiful presence of food and beverages during the holidays do not usually cause anxiety for the majority of us, the season can bring extra challenges for those with eating disorders.

The office parties, friendly festivities and family gatherings between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day bring an overabundance of food as well as anxiety and can be definite triggers for many suffering from eating disorders (ED) such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, according to Janice Poplack, LCSW, director of Social Work and primary clinician for the Eating Disorders program at The Menninger Clinic in Houston.

“The anxiety the holidays can bring for someone being treated for or recovering from any type of eating disorder can be overwhelming,” says Poplack. “It’s important that family members and friends be more empathetic and supportive during this time.”

According to Kimberly Stephens, RD, a dietitian for The Menninger Clinic, the support ED sufferers may need can vary.

“The first question that needs to be asked is how they would like to be supported during each meal. Questions like, ‘Do you need me to go with you to look at all the food first and then help you pick out what correlates to your food groups?” says Stephens.

However, she cautions family members to avoid becoming ‘food police.’

“Let their dietitian play that role. Your part might be to make sure they don’t eat alone or setting exact times for meals or having them participate in planning the meal,” she says. “If they don’t currently see a dietitian, now might be a good time to enlist the services of one to help your loved one get through this time period.”

While most suffering from an ED try to avoid social interactions, family members should encourage participation.

“Try to engage them in events, even if they are small ones like going out for lunch with a few friends,” says Poplack. “And focus your positive comments not on their exterior appearance, but rather on their traits or actions.”

More information on Eating Disorders may be found on The Menninger Clinic Web site at http://www.MenningerClinic.com under the newsroom, Eating Disorders.

Sidebar:
Recognizing that your college student has an eating disorder
The Thanksgiving holidays may mark the first time parents have an opportunity to wrap their arms around their college-aged child since the summer break ended. Some parents may be shocked that there is a whole lot less to hug.

“Many eating disorders manifest when a child is away from their family for the first time. While there is usually a rush for independence, there is also the sudden realization that they no longer have the daily support from Mom and Dad. Restricting their eating may be the way a child copes with the stress of being separated from their loved ones,” says Poplack.

Poplack and Stephens encourage concerned parents to use the extended vacation time to take a closer look at their child.

Signs of eating disorders include:
*Weight loss or change of weight – Watch for a sudden loss or gain. Persons with eating disorders commonly try to hide their weight loss by wearing baggy clothes. A person is considered anorexic if his or her body mass index (BMI) is 17.4 or less.

*Picky eating or excuses around meal time – Be wary if your child used to eat a variety of foods, but now will only eat some foods and not others, or refuses to eat any foods that aren’t fat free. They may also use excuses like, “I’m not hungry” or “I’ve already eaten” to avoid meal time.

*Sudden diet or decision to be a vegetarian – Diets and becoming a vegetarian provide a socially acceptable way for a person with an eating disorder to restrict his or her diet and to reduce calories. Ask your child about the reasons he or she is going on a diet or becoming a vegetarian.

*Obsession with exercising – Spending hours at the gym or allowing exercise to dominate their schedule may be signs of an eating disorder.

*Frequent trips to the bathroom or showers immediately after eating – Young adults with bulimia often attempt to control the amount of calories they consume by purging after a big meal. They may make frequent trips to the bathroom to purge and turn the shower on to muffle their vomiting.

*Large amounts of food missing or hiding food – Young adults who binge eat may eat normally when in the presence of others. However, when alone, they eat large quantities of food at one sitting—such as whole bags of cookies, tubs of ice cream and bags of chips. Missing food may be a parent’s only clue.

*Drastic change in personality – Eating disorders usually cause a drastic change in personality. A normally outgoing individual may seem withdrawn or avoid social interactions.

*Obsession over looks – Constantly asking “How do I look” or having a need for reassuring comments about looks and weight is another warning of an eating disorder.

About The Menninger Clinic
The Menninger Clinic is a nonprofit, international specialty psychiatric center, providing treatment, research and education. Founded in 1925 in Kansas, Menninger relocated to Houston in 2003 and is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. Since 1991, Menninger has been named among the top ten leading psychiatric hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of America’s Best Hospitals. Menninger is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Sue-Ella Mueller | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.menninger.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>