Friday, April 25, 2008

The Disorder Next Door

SELF magazine has an interesting article called The disorder next door. Their conclusion? Over 6 in 10 American women have disordered eating, and another 1 in 10 has an eating disorder.

This was covered this morning on the Today Show. I found it odd they had Matt Lauer do the interview. Maybe this is unfair, but it felt like having me cover a wrestling match. LOL! Here's a link to the interview:

SELF poll reveals 65 percent of American women are disordered eaters

Here's an excerpt:

The online SELF survey garnered responses from 4,000 women ages 25 to 45 to a detailed questionnaire about their eating habits and found that most disordered eaters fall into one or more of six categories. "Calorie prisoners" are terrified of gaining weight, tend to see food as good or bad and feel extremely guilty if they indulge in something that’s off-limits. Secret eaters binge on junk food at home, in the car — wherever they won’t be found out. Career dieters may not know what to eat without a plan to follow; despite their efforts, they’re more likely than other types to be overweight or obese. Purgers are obsessed with ridding their body of unwanted calories and bloat by using laxatives, diuretics or occasional vomiting. Food addicts eat to soothe stress, deal with anger, even celebrate a happy event; they think about food nearly all the time. Extreme exercisers work out despite illness, injury or exhaustion and solely for weight loss; they are devastated if they miss a session. Like Marsh, who Bulik describes as a calorie prisoner and an exercise addict, many disordered eaters piece together a painful mix of destructive habits. Others may shift between categories over the years, ricocheting from restricting to bingeing to purging, for instance.

Even more frightening, the SELF survey reveals that an additional 10 percent of women suffer from outright eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, meaning that a total of 75 percent of all American women — three out of four — eat, think and behave abnormally around food.

Gulp. I looked around the SELF website and found some interesting articles and tools there. Take the SELF Magazine eating disorder quiz. I did and the results were UGly. (Ugly with a capital UG, get it?) My reaction? Well DUH! I have probably fit 5 of the 6 categories mentioned above at one time or another - often most of them all at once. The one that spoke loudest to me was the 'career dieter.'

So now what will SELF do with those results? My challenge to them is to show people how to get healthy about eating and their weight, instead of reverting to the regular glossy coverage of how it's so much better to be skinny than fat, with a side order of implications that if you're fat it's because you don't want it bad enough.

1 comment:

Medusa said...

"I found it odd they had Matt Lauer do the interview. Maybe this is unfair, but it felt like having me cover a wrestling match."

ROFL! You are SO funny :^)

Excellent post, OYB. It's shocking that over 65% of American women suffer from disordered eating.

Let's hope SELF magazine takes your wise advice and does some follow-up stories on showing "people how to get healthy about eating and their weight."