23/1/13

Perfectionism and Eating Disorders: Complex Issue

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130121192019.htm?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=286137-NH-eNews+-+January+22nd+2013+

5/9/12

Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome Associated With Impaired Brain Function in Adolescents

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2012) — A new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine reveals for the first time that metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with cognitive and brain impairments in adolescents and calls for pediatricians to take this into account when considering the early treatment of childhood obesity.


The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health under award number DK083537, and in part by award number 1ULIRR029892, from the National Center for Research Resources, appears online September 3 in Pediatrics.
As childhood obesity has increased in the U.S., so has the prevalence of metabolic syndrome -- a constellation of three or more of five defined health problems, including abdominal obesity, low HDL (good cholesterol), high triglycerides, high blood pressure and pre-diabetic insulin resistance. Lead investigator Antonio Convit, MD, professor of psychiatry and medicine at NYU School of Medicine and a member of the Nathan Kline Research Institute, and colleagues have shown previously that metabolic syndrome has been linked to neurocognitive impairments in adults, but this association was generally thought to be a long-term effect of poor metabolism. Now, the research team has revealed even worse brain impairments in adolescents with metabolic syndrome, a group absent of clinically-manifest vascular disease and likely shorter duration of poor metabolism.
"The prevalence of MetS parallels the rise in childhood obesity," Dr. Convit said. "There are huge numbers of people out there who have problems with their weight. If those problems persist long enough, they will lead to the development of MetS and diabetes. As yet, there has been very little information available about what happens to the brain in the setting of obesity and MetS and before diabetes onset in children."
For the study, the researchers compared 49 adolescents with metabolic syndrome to 62 teens without the disorder. Of those who were not in the MetS group, 40 percent were considered overweight or obese, so while they were not in ideal health, they did not have three out of the five health issues needed to fall into the MetS group. The findings reported, therefore, are conservative and reflective of the real world.
Dr. Convit and colleagues balanced each group according to age, socioeconomic status, school grade, gender and ethnicity to ensure things like cultural differences in diet and access to quality healthcare did not cloud the data. They then conducted endocrine, MRI and neuropsychological evaluations on the adolescents and found that those classified as having MetS showed significantly lower math and spelling scores, as well as decreased attention span and mental flexibility. They also showed differences in brain structure and volume, presenting with smaller hippocampal volumes -- involved in the learning and recall of new information, increased brain cerebrospinal fluid and reductions of microstructural integrity in major white matter tracts in the brain. The more MetS-characterizing health problems the participants had, the more profound the effect across the board.
"The kids with MetS took longer to do tasks, could not read as well and had poorer math scores," Dr. Convit said. "These findings indicate that kids with MetS do not perform well on things that are very relevant to school performance."
The researchers concluded that even a few years of problems with metabolism may cause brain complications. They suggest the adverse impact of MetS on brain function in children could be used by pediatricians as a powerful motivator to get families more involved in meaningful lifestyle change.
"Only now are pediatricians becoming aware of some of these issues," Dr. Convit explained. "Many pediatricians don't even take a blood pressure, and they certainly are not taking cholesterol levels and testing insulin resistance." He added that about one third of children who are obese have abnormal cholesterol levels and more than 40 percent of those who are really obese have insulin resistance. "Obesity in kids is sky-high. Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population is considered obese. Parents need to understand that obesity has medical consequences, even in children, and some of those consequences may be impacting more than just the long term health of the cardiovascular system. We need to do what our grandmothers have told us all along: 'Eat well, don't overeat and try to move as much as possible.'"
Dr. Convit added that simple changes in daily routine would go a long way in preventing MetS -- changes like walking more and taking the stairs. Future research is needed to determine whether the reductions in cognitive performance and structural brain abnormalities are reversible with significant weight loss, he explained.
"The take home message is that just being overweight and obese is already impacting your brain," Dr. Convit said. "Kids who are struggling with their weight and moving toward having MetS may have lower grades, which could ultimately lead to lower professional achievement in the long run. These are run-of-the-mill, garden-variety kids, not kids that came into the hospital because they were sick. It is imperative that we take obesity and physical activity seriously in children. In this country, we're taking away gym class in order to give children more class time in an effort to improve school performance, but that effort may be having the exact opposite effect."
Dr. Convit's focus on combating and raising awareness about the impact of childhood obesity led him to create the The BODY Project, a program that works with New York City schools and parents to evaluate students' height, weight, blood pressure, test for insulin resistance and record other measures of health, giving parents an overview of their child's health status. Simply receiving this report motivates visits to the pediatrician, meal-planning changes at home and other interventions to prevent MetS and obesity. The program has impacted more than 3,400 children since its creation four years ago.

Πηγη: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903123610.htm?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=275921-NH-eNews+-+September+4th+2012+

30/8/12

Anorexic woman not to be force-fed, judge rules

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19369239?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=274114-NH-eNews+-+August+28th+2012+

1/2/12

Συμβουλές διατροφής για τις κρύες μέρες και νύχτες του χειμώνα

Ο φετινός χειμώνας είναι αρκετά διαφορετικός.

Τα καιρικά φαινόμενα είναι ιδιαίτερα έντονα και οι θερμοκρασίες πολύ χαμηλές. Η μεγαλύτερη όμως διαφορά είναι ότι το φετινό χειμώνα πολλοί συνάνθρωποι μας δεν μπορούν να αντέξουν το κόστος της θέρμανσης, πιθανόν να χρειάζεται να εργάζονται σε δύσκολες συνθήκες ή να έχουν βρεθεί στο δρόμο οπού τότε καλούνται να επιβιώσουν χωρίς το δικό τους σπίτι στην παγωνιά του δρόμου ή κάτω από τις γέφυρες.

Παρακάτω βρίσκονται λίγες συμβουλές για τον τρόπο που μπορεί η διατροφή να συμβάλει στην αντιμετώπιση των κρύων και δύσκολων ημερών του χειμώνα.

1. Ικανοποιητική πρόσληψη υγρών.

Η κατανάλωση υγρών και αποφυγή της αφυδάτωσης είναι όσο σημαντική το χειμώνα όσο και το καλοκαίρι. Το χειμώνα είναι επίσης πιο εύκολο να αφυδατωθούμε χωρίς να το καταλάβουμε. Βοηθάει πολύ τα υγρά να μην είναι παγωμένα αλλά σε θερμοκρασία δωματίου ή ζεστά. Το ζεστό τσάι είναι μια καλή λύση, ο καφές σε μεγάλη ποσότητα όμως μπορεί να προκαλέσει αφυδάτωση.

2. Μικρή αύξηση στην κατανάλωση τροφής

Ήπια αύξηση της ενεργειακής πρόσληψης είναι απαραίτητη αφού ο οργανισμός χρειάζεται επιπλέον ενέργεια για μπορέσει να διατηρήσει τη θερμοκρασία του σώματος. Η αύξηση πρέπει να είναι ήπια και οι τροφές που καταναλώνονται να είναι στο πλαίσιο μιας ισορροπημένης διατροφής.

3. Τακτικά γεύματα και σνακ στη διάρκεια της ημέρας

Βοηθάει σε μεγάλο βαθμό η κατανάλωση μοιρασμένων γευμάτων και όχι κατανάλωση μεγάλων ποσοτήτων μονομιάς. Με τον τρόπο αυτό ενεργοποιείται καλύτερα ο μεταβολισμός του σώματος άρα είναι ευκολότερη η παραγωγή θερμότητας.

4. Λήψη ζεστών τροφών και αφεψημάτων όταν υπάρχει δυνατότητα

Οι ζεστές σούπες είναι ιδιαίτερα θρεπτικές και βοηθούν στην κατανάλωση υγρών. Στο ζεστό τσάι, χαμομήλι η γάλα μπορούμε να προσθέσουμε μια κουταλιά ζάχαρη ή μέλι.

5. Αποφυγή κατανάλωσης αλκοόλ

Σε αντίθεση με τον μύθο, η κατανάλωση αλκοόλ χειροτερεύει την κατάσταση και ουσιαστικά αναγκάζει τον οργανισμό να αποβάλει θερμότητα εκεί που θα έπρεπε να τη διατηρεί. Είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό να μην καταναλώνεται αλκοόλ.

Ιωάννης Τζώρας RD
Κλινικός Διαιτολόγος

9/8/11

Eating disorders delay pregnancy

Women with a history of eating disorders may struggle to fall pregnant quickly, research suggests.

They are also more than twice as likely to need fertility treatment, a study of more than 11,000 UK mothers has found.

Pregnancy rates after six months were lower in women with anorexia or bulimia, but by a year they were the same as the general population.

Would-be mothers should seek help early for any symptoms of eating disorders, say researchers.

They may need extra support during and after pregnancy, a team from King's College London and University College London reported in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The study found 39.5% of women with a history of bulimia or anorexia took longer than six months to conceive.

This compares with a quarter of women in the general population.

They were also more likely to need fertility treatment (6.2% of women with eating disorders, compared with 2.7% of the general population).

However, perhaps surprisingly, more pregnancies in the group of women who had had anorexia at some point were unplanned.

Lead researcher Dr Abigail Easter of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, said: "This research highlights that there are risks to fertility associated with eating disorders.

"However, the high rates of unplanned pregnancies in women with a history of anorexia suggest that women may be underestimating their chances of conceiving."

She said pregnancy could be a difficult time for women with eating disorders.

She added: "Women planning a pregnancy should ideally seek treatment for their eating disorder symptoms prior to conception, and health professionals should be aware of eating disorders when assessing fertility and providing treatment for this."

The research focussed on more than 11,000 women in the Bristol area taking part in a long-term study to track the health of mothers and their children.

The women were questioned about their past history of eating disorders, and their attitude towards their pregnancy, during the first half of their pregnancy.

Mary George of the eating disorders charity Beat said many people had no idea of the problems they could be causing in the future.

She said: "Eating disorders are very serious illnesses that are depriving the body of the nutrients that it needs.

"They can have long-term health consequences."

Case study

Jane, aged 29, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 8, and has never had a period.

Although she is now a healthy weight, she has struggled to get pregnant for the past four years and is now having fertility treatment.

"It has been very much a roller coaster ride," she says.

"My husband desperately wants a baby - there's that feeling of it being my fault even though no-one would choose to have anorexia."


The data

  • 11,088 women questioned in the early months of pregnancy
  • Most (96%) said they had never had an eating disorder
  • 171 (1.5%) reported having had anorexia at some point in their life
  • 199 (1.8%) had had bulimia, while 82 (0.7%) had had both illnesses
  • There were more unplanned pregnancies in the women with anorexia - 41.5% compared with 28.6% in the general population
  • Women who had had eating disorders were also more likely to report negative feelings about pregnancy



2/8/11

Registered Dietitians Are Essential For Successful Treatment Of Eating Disorders, Says American Dietetic Association

As one of the most complicated sets of illnesses to treat, eating disorders have mental health, as well as medical and nutritional, aspects. While treatment by a multidisciplinary health-care team is considered the best practice, there is considerable debate over how to most effectively treat eating disorders and who should be on a treatment team.

In a newly updated position paper, the American Dietetic Association says nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian is an "essential component" of successful care for people diagnosed with eating disorders. ADA's position paper on "Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Eating Disorders" has been published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that nutrition intervention, including nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian, is an essential component of the team treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders during assessment and treatment across the continuum of care.

Eating disorders are serious illnesses affecting approximately 8 million Americans at any given time. While anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, affecting all cultures, ages and genders, they are most common in teen and young adult women. All forms of eating disorders can be fatal. It is critical for anyone with symptoms of an eating disorder to seek professional help. Early treatment gives the greatest chance for a full recovery.

ADA's position paper was written by registered dietitians Amy D. Ozier, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at Northern Illinois University; and Beverly W. Henry, PhD, RD, LDN, associate professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at NIU.

In addition, ADA's has produced its first practice paper on eating disorders, providing up-to-date information for registered dietitians on current research and controversies in the field; offers guidance on diagnostic criteria, symptoms, assessment and treatment of eating disorders; and delineates concrete ideas about the role of RDs.

ADA's position paper is designed to:

  • -- Increase awareness of the types of disordered eating and eating disorders
  • -- Detail emerging issues including associations between binge eating disorder and overweight and obesity
  • -- Focus on special populations such as athletes, adolescents and those considering bariatric surgery
  • -- Address other challenging issues encountered in treatment of eating disorders such as insurance coverage.

"The complexities of EDs, such as epidemiologic factors, treatment guidelines, special populations and emerging trends highlight the nature of EDs, which require a collaborative approach by an interdisciplinary team of mental health, nutrition and medical specialists," the authors of ADA's position paper write. "RDs are integral members of treatment teams and are uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy for the normalization of eating patterns and nutritional status. However, this role requires understanding of the psychologic and neurobiologic aspects of EDs. Advanced training is needed to work effectively with this population. Further efforts with evidence-based research must continue for improved treatment outcomes related to EDs, along with identification of effective primary and secondary interventions."

Source: American Dietetic Association (ADA)

Registered Dietitians Are Essential For Successful Treatment Of Eating Disorders, Says American Dietetic Association

As one of the most complicated sets of illnesses to treat, eating disorders have mental health, as well as medical and nutritional, aspects. While treatment by a multidisciplinary health-care team is considered the best practice, there is considerable debate over how to most effectively treat eating disorders and who should be on a treatment team.

In a newly updated position paper, the American Dietetic Association says nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian is an "essential component" of successful care for people diagnosed with eating disorders. ADA's position paper on "Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Eating Disorders" has been published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that nutrition intervention, including nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian, is an essential component of the team treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders during assessment and treatment across the continuum of care.

Eating disorders are serious illnesses affecting approximately 8 million Americans at any given time. While anyone can suffer from an eating disorder, affecting all cultures, ages and genders, they are most common in teen and young adult women. All forms of eating disorders can be fatal. It is critical for anyone with symptoms of an eating disorder to seek professional help. Early treatment gives the greatest chance for a full recovery.

ADA's position paper was written by registered dietitians Amy D. Ozier, PhD, RD, LDN, assistant professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at Northern Illinois University; and Beverly W. Henry, PhD, RD, LDN, associate professor of family, consumer and nutrition sciences at NIU.

In addition, ADA's has produced its first practice paper on eating disorders, providing up-to-date information for registered dietitians on current research and controversies in the field; offers guidance on diagnostic criteria, symptoms, assessment and treatment of eating disorders; and delineates concrete ideas about the role of RDs.

ADA's position paper is designed to:

  • -- Increase awareness of the types of disordered eating and eating disorders
  • -- Detail emerging issues including associations between binge eating disorder and overweight and obesity
  • -- Focus on special populations such as athletes, adolescents and those considering bariatric surgery
  • -- Address other challenging issues encountered in treatment of eating disorders such as insurance coverage.

"The complexities of EDs, such as epidemiologic factors, treatment guidelines, special populations and emerging trends highlight the nature of EDs, which require a collaborative approach by an interdisciplinary team of mental health, nutrition and medical specialists," the authors of ADA's position paper write. "RDs are integral members of treatment teams and are uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy for the normalization of eating patterns and nutritional status. However, this role requires understanding of the psychologic and neurobiologic aspects of EDs. Advanced training is needed to work effectively with this population. Further efforts with evidence-based research must continue for improved treatment outcomes related to EDs, along with identification of effective primary and secondary interventions."

Source: American Dietetic Association (ADA)

19/7/11

'I began to starve myself...'

For 25 years, Ian Sockett had anorexia – until a life-threatening infection gave him the wake-up call he needed. He describes how he fought back from the illness that's affecting growing numbers of men


As I lay in my hospital bed, I'd never felt so scared or alone. I glanced at my painfully thin body, emaciated by 25 years of anorexia. At 5ft 7in, I weighed five stone. After years of surviving mainly on coffee and fruit salad, while continuing to push myself to exercise almost every day, my body couldn't take any more.

I had pneumonia, a collapsed right lung and was in urgent need of a blood transfusion. I was also in isolation so, although I desperately wanted to see my parents, I couldn't. The seriousness of my situation hit me for the first time. I knew I might die in this room, alone.

To explain how I found myself in this dark place, I need to go back 25 years, to a very different time. I was 15, a top-grade student tipped to be the next head boy who represented the school and county in athletics, rugby and cricket – I was the Midlands 400m champion. Life was great. My parents and teachers had high hopes.
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Then my beloved grandmother, or Nana as I knew her, died of an aneurysm. I'd been very close to Nana – my brother Andrew and I used to stay with her and granddad when my parents were at work. While Granddad was quite a strict disciplinarian, Nana was softer and spoilt us. Losing her was my first experience of death, and of losing anyone close. I was devastated but I was also confused. I couldn't accept that the rest of the world was continuing as though nothing had happened. Didn't anyone realise my Nana had died? I felt my life had come to a grinding halt.

I don't know why I didn't talk about my feelings. But I kept thinking that maybe this was what it was like for everyone, and how could I burden my mother with this when she'd just lost her mother?

I realise my reaction to the situation was peculiar, but maybe not as uncommon as you might think. I rationalised that if I was physically hurting, this would somehow make the pain of losing Nana easier to deal with. I could not justify being happy and carrying on as if nothing had happened.

So, quite simply, I began to starve myself. Slowly at first, but maintaining the same level of sporting activity. My body started to hurt when I ran but I was determined, no one was going to stop me. And so the pattern began. Once you start to starve yourself you find you can manage to exist on smaller and smaller amounts. You soon learn the calorific content of everything.

My running was one of the first things to suffer. I no longer had the energy to perform at the same level. This made me angry but I couldn't stop, even though I had a constant gnawing pain in my gut. I couldn't accept that I wasn't as good as I used to be and this made me angrier and more miserable.

By the time I took my A levels, I was on the hamster wheel of self-punishment, driving myself harder while existing on fewer and fewer calories. I was no fun and didn't want to go out, so inevitably friends stopped asking me. Soon, there were no friends.

Studying gave me the perfect excuse to shut myself away in my room, too busy to eat at mealtimes. I was amazed when a tutor suggested I apply to Oxford – I was just Ian Sockett from the local secondary school in rural Herefordshire. I passed the entrance exam and went for the interview, but I didn't want to go to university, by now my life had imploded. I didn't get accepted and when the rejection letter arrived it confirmed what I already knew – I was no good.

I got a local job in sales and marketing but my parents were extremely worried about me. Eating disorders are difficult for the sufferer but perhaps even more so for family and friends, who can't understand why someone won't eat. I eventually agreed to seek professional help, but back then the thinking around anorexia, especially in men, was hardly advanced.

The experience felt horrific. I was referred to what most people would call a psychologist, who asked if my parents had sexually abused me. I was disgusted. He was talking about the only two people who hadn't given up on me, who'd cried rivers of tears watching their son disappear before their eyes. I left feeling sickened. I did not go back.

By 2007, I was holding down a professional job with the local authority, and working 11-hour days at M&S at weekends. This seven-day routine had been going on for almost three years, and was another form of self-punishment – why should I let myself enjoy my weekends? I weighed less than six stone, I always felt cold, rarely laughed and was a truly frightening sight.

By now I'd got used to people staring, even though it hurt. I heard people whispering, they assumed I had cancer or Aids. None of those applied to me. The reason I didn't have a girlfriend was simple – I looked hideous.

For men, things are exacerbated because admitting to having an eating disorder isn't macho. People think it only affects teenage girls responding to messages from the fashion industry. This isn't true. I knew exactly how I looked; there was no body image deception. I hated what I saw and detested having my photo taken. Anorexia was a way of self-harm, of punishing myself.

My wake-up call came the following year. I caught a chest infection and when two courses of antibiotics failed, I was admitted to hospital. I began 2008 being told I had pneumonia and my right lung had collapsed. The doctors kept me in as they wanted to "hit me hard" with intravenous antibiotics to try to control the infection.

During my first afternoon, the hospital closed to visitors to contain an outbreak of norovirus, or the winter vomiting bug. Hours later, due to taking antibiotics, I got the runs. I was placed in isolation over fears I had contracted the virus. I found myself alone, stuck within four walls and banned from seeing anyone. I felt weak and soon became very, very afraid. My mum was outside, left to imagine what was happening.

I was so frightened that it suddenly dawned on me just how precious life really was. I realised I might never leave the hospital. Despite feeling very weak, alone and terrified, I'd already made my decision. I was going to get out of this dreadful situation and do something to repay society for all those wasted years. It may sound strange, but I started to formulate my goal. I'd fulfill my childhood ambition of running a marathon. I'd make my parents proud of me again. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but those same traits of bloody-mindedness and determination would help me win the greatest battle of my life.

I decided to run for Macmillan Cancer Support. I'd started fundraising for them while at M&S and one thing that had stayed with me was how Macmillan was there for everyone affected, not just the individual but family and even friends. Sometimes we just need someone to give us a hug, hold our hand or to be close. Lying alone in hospital, I empathised with how important that was.

The journey back to health and marathon fitness was long, frustrating and difficult. You don't change a 25-year way of thinking overnight. You're in a routine, you think, "what's going to happen if I change that and do something different?" But I started eating three meals a day, and the sky didn't cave in and nobody died. This enabled me to keep going. I also needed to put on weight slowly – too fast could have caused my heart to overload and internal organs to fail.

There were plenty more tears. I kept thinking, "I'm never going to make it". But I knew I couldn't let anyone down. My greatest motivator was the thought of completing a marathon, hanging that medal around mum's neck and saying, "Thanks for being there". I'd also been accepted to run for Macmillan, and I owed them a debt of gratitude for believing in me. Plus, it no longer hurt to run, I could really put some power behind it. Food became fuel for me. I didn't want any therapy or professional support. Besides, very little was available in my area.

My first marathon was Paris 2009. The residing memories are the pain in my quads during the last few miles and the words "Go, Soko, go" yelled by one of the Macmillan support team, balanced precariously up a French lamp post.

I did it, I completed my first marathon. And I've not stopped since. I'm 41 and I do some form of exercise every day, either running, swimming or going to the gym, and I weigh about nine stone. I've raised more than £10,000 for Macmillan.

I've run the London Marathon twice, each year beating my previous time. I completed this year's in three hours, 13 minutes and 55 seconds, which gave me automatic qualification for 2012.

Of course, I wish I could turn back the clock 25 years and start again. But while I might have wasted those years, I've been given a second chance and I don't intend to waste one minute of it.

I'd love to meet a woman now and have a relationship – I'm on the market with a big "for sale" sign. I know I'm probably quite naïve; it would be my first proper relationship for a long, long time. But I feel I have a lot of love to give.

For me, having a reason, or several reasons, to recover from anorexia was pivotal. What's important to remember is that no matter how deep a hole you've dug yourself into, there's always a way out. I'm living proof.

Interview by Linda Harrison

Eating disorders: not just a female problem

* The number of men with eating disorders is rising, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners. Doctors report a 66 per cent rise in hospital admissions of men for eating disorders over the past ten years.

* An estimated 1.6 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, and around one in five is male, according to the eating disorders charity Beat (www.b-eat.co.uk, helpline 0845 634 1414).

* Anorexia in men often begins with excessive bodybuilding or exercise, or specific occupations, including athletics, dance and horseracing.

* The charity Men Get Eating Disorders Too (www.mengetedstoo.co.uk) states that men are most likely to develop eating disorders between the ages of 14 and 25, but it can happen at any age.

21/6/11

Children as Young as Ten Vomit to Lose Weight, With Highest Rates in Boys

Children as young as ten are making themselves vomit in order to lose weight and the problem is more common in boys than girls, according to a study of nearly 16,000 school pupils published online early, ahead of print publication, by the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

The findings have prompted researchers to issue a warning that self-induced vomiting is an early sign that children could develop eating disorders and serious psychological problems, such as binge eating and anorexia.

They also believe that self-induced vomiting can be tackled by making sure that children get enough sleep, eat breakfast every day, eat less fried food and night-time snacks and spend less time in front of a computer.

Thirteen per cent of the 8,673 girls and 7,043 boys who took part in the research admitted they made themselves sick to lose weight. But the figures were much higher in younger children, with 16% of 10-12 year-olds and 15% of 13-15 year-olds vomiting. The figures fell to 8% in 16-18 year-olds.

The study of 120 schools, carried out for Taiwan's Ministry of Education, also found that 16% of the boys made themselves sick, compared with 10% of the girls.

"Our study, which was part of a wider research project on health and growth, focused on children who said that they had tried to lose weight in the last year" says lead author Dr Yiing Mei Liou, Director of Clinical Practice of the School of Nursing at National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.

"It showed that self-induced vomiting was most prevalent in adolescents who had a sedentary lifestyle, slept less and ate unhealthily.

"Obesity is a growing problem in industrialised countries and is an increasingly important medical, psychosocial and economic issue. It's estimated that obesity among children and teenagers has nearly tripled over the last three decades and international studies have revealed worrying trends.

"For example, a study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in 2010, found that 4% of students had vomited or taken laxatives in the last 30 days to lose or stop gaining weight. And a South Australian study published in 2008 said that eating disorders had doubled in the last decade."

The Taiwan study found that 18% of the underweight children used vomiting as a weight-loss strategy, compared with 17% of obese children and 14% of overweight children. Normal weight children were least likely to vomit (12%).

A number of factors were associated with high levels of self-induced vomiting. For example, more than 21% of the children who vomited ate fried food every day, 19% ate desserts every day, 18% ate night-time snacks every day and 18% used a computer screen for more than two hours a day.

When the researchers carried out an odds ratio analysis, they found that using a computer screen for more than two hours a day increased the vomiting risk by 55%, eating fried food every day by 110% and having night-time snacks every day by 51%. They also found that children were less likely to make themselves sick if they slept more than eight hours a night and ate breakfast every day.

"Our study found that children as young as ten were aware of the importance of weight control, but used vomiting to control their weight" concludes Dr Liou. "This reinforces the need for public health campaigns that stress the negative impact that vomiting can have on their health and encourage them to tackle any weight issues in a healthy and responsible way.

"The findings also suggest that self-induced vomiting might serve as an early marker for the development of obesity and/or other eating and weight-related problems."
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ScienceDaily (June 17, 2011) — The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell, via AlphaGalileo.

8/3/11

Eating disorders hit more than half million teens

By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer
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CHICAGO (AP) -- More than half a million U.S. teens have had an eating disorder but few have sought treatment for the problem, government research shows.

The study is billed as the largest and most comprehensive analysis of eating disorders. It involved nationally representative data on more than 10,000 teens aged 13 to 18.

Binge-eating disorder was the most common, affecting more than 1.5 percent of kids studied. Just under 1 percent had experienced bulimia, and 0.3 percent had had anorexia. Overall, 3 percent had a lifetime prevalence of one of the disorders. Another 3 percent of kids questioned had troubling symptoms but not full-fledged eating disorders.

The study was released online Monday in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The rates are slightly higher than in other studies. And the study is based on kids and parents interviewed over two years ending in 2004. But co-author and researcher Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institute of Mental Health says similar rates likely exist today.

More than half the affected teens had depression, anxiety or some other mental disorder. Sizeable numbers also reported suicide thoughts or attempts.

Merikangas said the results underscore the seriousness of eating disorders.

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Online:

NIH: http://health.nih.gov/topic/EatingDisorders

Journal: http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/