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Our knowledge of eating disorders and the presentation of these illnesses is growing but remains complex. Eating disorder illnesses bring about an affect change to individual social spheres and relationships are unavoidably impacted. This relationship impact extends to the experience of the carers, including family, friends, and other figures of support for an individual. If relationships are impacted, whether it be positively or negatively, recovery too can be impacted.   Maintaining Hope in the Face of Despair   The idea of hope being fundamental to a person’s capacity in believing that their own recovery is possible is essential. Thus, engaging with the whole person can help to serve as a reminder that there is life beyond the problem currently being faced. Maintaining that connection with hope and belief in the person is like helping to keep a fire burning. Stoking it with the dry wood it needs to flourish. It is fundamental to sparking the possibility for change.   The ...
Going the Distance: Bringing Awareness to Rural Eating Disorders by Jenny Copeland, PsyD Reconnect Eating Disorders Program at Ozark Center Across society, among both professionals and general community members, a pervasive stereotype exists: the perception only thin, white, affluent, girls suffer from eating disorders (ED). Although much work has been done amongst clinicians and advocates to combat this misperception, particular groups in the United States continue to be disproportionately harmed by it. For some communities, this stereotype remains so ubiquitous their experience has rarely been examined by researchers to better understand the prevalence of EDs or their unique experiences. Individuals residing in rural, impoverished communities are a key example of this. Although more research has examined EDs among low-income individuals (e.g., Sonneville & Lipson, 2018), much less data is available on rural EDs. A wider body of research is available internationally ...
The Longest Match - Rallying to Defeat an Eating Disorder in Midlife By Betsy Brenner Reviewed for IFEED by Janice Baker MBA RDN CDCES CNSC BC-ADM The Longest Match is a heartwarming and intimate memoir reflecting on the author’s experiences from youth to midlife, describing the influences – both internal and external- that set the groundwork of disordered eating and eating disorders, and how this illness, especially combined with other stressors and life events can be so exhausting and consuming. Being in my later midlife years and having lived through decades of diet culture influences, family turbulence and illness (both physical and mental), I looked forward to picking up this book daily to read, as it felt like I was connecting with a friend who had similar life experiences. Keeping parents happy, feeling like I had to “perform” and look/ act a certain way to gain acceptance from peers and be valued for body shape, size, hair style- i.e. fitting into the “mold”, ...
Supporting Those with Eating Disorders During the Festive Period                                               Four Innovative Perspectives on Managing the Holiday Season Here we are with the festive season already upon us, and a New Year just around the corner! Such a busy and often emotional time of year can be challenging, and for those ill with an eating disorder, this time of year can prove very difficult to handle. So, we thought that we might share some tips on how to cope with festive times when caring for loved ones recovering from eating disorders. With a focus on positivity, there are several ways of not only supporting, but also of creating positive times and memories to last and generate hope for the New Year ahead. “It’s not about the food” The emphasis on food at this time of year can be overwhelming for anyone let alone those who are struggling with disordering eating thought patterns. Finding pleasure in being together at a family ...
A Call for Lockdown on Stigmatising Policies By  Phaedra Longhurst, MSc, Dr. Amanda Raffoul, PhD, and Dr. Helena Lewis-Smith, PhD The authors of this article wish to disclose that this article refers to terms of ob*sity and anti-ob*sity and discusses sensitive topics regarding weight loss and weight stigma.   The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everybody. One particular stress relates to increased pressure to “better” ourselves during a time when we have time. However, this messaging has been counterproductive, as the boundaries between what is healthy and unhealthy have become blurred. Globally, we have spent increased time on social media, which features pervasive diet and fitness content, usually focusing on “ideal” bodies. We have also been inundated with weight stigmatising content (e.g., pre- and post- lockdown bodies), leading to feelings of guilt and shame about our own bodies. Simultaneously, we have had international leaders claiming ob*sity and “high weight” ...
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Annual Conference 2021 - 17-19 September The Eating Disorders Research Society (EDRS) is an international organization of researchers in the field of eating disorders interested in anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and obesity. The purpose of the organization is to hold an annual scientific meeting during which the most recent research in the field can be presented and discussed. This year’s meeting has transitioned to an online/virtual event. Using a combination of online platforms, educational content in a live session format will be delivered with the added bonus of on-demand access to session recordings for 30 days following the event. Conference highlights include live plenary sessions, live Q&A with presenters, on-demand virtual, posters with optional videos, asynchronous Q&A with poster presenters, and on-demand access to all content for 30 days following the conclusion of the conference. Notable sessions include a pair of keynote presentations, ...
TOP TEN TIPS FOR MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VIRTUAL CONFERENCE One of the things I love about going to conferences is that feeling I get as I walk into the venue on the first day. There is always an excited buzz and hive of activity going on. From the colour and array of the expo tables and information stands to the smell of the last minute coffee deliveries to the nervous energy of the presenters running through their speeches in the corners of the vestibules. With a virtual conference, things are somewhat different. Everyone has a prime seat – in front of their own computer. There are no coffee queues or meal requirement forms to fill in and no one will see exactly how engaged or otherwise the audience is. So how do we ensure we remain motivated to make the most of these virtual events? Having done a few online conferences now after more than a year of pandemic pivoting, I have put together a few of my own top tips to help make the most of the forthcoming International Conference ...
The ICED conference is a great way to connect with others who are working in the eating disorder sector. So it was a pleasure recently to speak with two Female Athlete Program clinicians well-versed in the care of athletes with eating disorders.  Laura and Miriam are two of the best and will be giving us their perspective on working in their specialist area in one of our upcoming blog posts. Laura Moretti Reece, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, and Miriam Rowan, PsyD. Laura Moretti Reece, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN completed a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition as well as her didactic program in clinical dietetics at New York University and joined the Female Athlete Program in 2015. She possesses a speciality in sports performance-based nutrition as well as treating low energy availability, disordered eating and eating disorders in athletes. Laura has an extensive amount of experience in consulting and collaborating with Olympic and professional athletes, local colleges and universities, as well as ...
ICED June 8 - 12 The International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED) 2021 promises to be a rich, diverse, and fascinating event. From keynote speaker; Anne E. Becker, talking about why eating disorders have been marginalized in global health to a plenary session on consequences of the COVID-19 global pandemic to pre-recorded workshops discussing such topics as trauma and eating disorders and the clash between lived experience and research in this area. Attendees will be challenged to consider how clinicians, investigators, policymakers, and caregivers counter the all-too-frequent invisibility of eating disorders, to absorb important lessons from the broad spectrum of lived experience and communities, and to incorporate these lessons to create a more inclusive space to respond to eating disorders across diverse settings. Antoine Aoun, M.D. Access to healthcare will be on the agenda in light of the recent pivot toward alternative methods of treating patients ...
By: Andrea LaMarre “Pivot” might be one of the most popular words of 2020—and one of the most maligned. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, multi-disciplinary healthcare providers around the world had to pivot their services online in an effort to continue delivering much-needed services to people with eating disorders. Healthcare providers have found themselves innovating and navigating healthcare systems to deliver high quality care.  While some things are lost in the move online, many healthcare providers have found that providing online services has enhanced the accessibility of treatment and met the needs of clientele that had previously not been engaged in treatment. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought with it an array of new challenges for people with eating disorders and their supporters. Healthcare providers have faced rising demands for services while themselves navigating personal and professional challenges in relation to this global health risk.  ...

Hello from Your New Editors!

Greetings, We are Brian and Elizabeth, your new blog editors and so thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves to you. Brian Belko is a technical writer and freelance writer based in Ohio. Brian is experienced at consulting with editors and writers to shape story and bring quality content to completed projects. His past projects have included magazine articles, website copy, press releases, blog posts, research, and data entry, for a variety of clients around the United States and the world. With a Bachelor of Arts in Writing for the Media from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Science in Technical Communication from Northeastern University, Brian comes qualified and ready to research, curate, and present new content and use his technical knowledge to bring current practice and research in the area of eating disorders to the AED community. Furthermore, Brian’s lived experience as a supporter of a person with an eating disorder gives him ...

Checking In

This blog was written and posted by the AED Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to the Board. Less than 48 hours prior to our first monthly committee meeting of 2021, the world witnessed a mob of armed white supremacists force their way into the U.S. Capitol, occupying the building for hours and driving democratically elected members of Congress into hiding. Unsurprisingly, our meeting agenda changed course. Our usual “quick check-in” at the start of the meeting extended to 30 minutes as each of us needed to connect with our colleagues in response to this violent insurrection. Moreover, it felt important to check in with our wider, global AED community. We know many members have been affected by this siege on democracy and witnessing this flagrant reminder of white supremacy.  We particularly wish to send our solidarity to our Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, and Jewish colleagues, patients, and families. We trust our white members, especially those in positions ...
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and approximately a third of the world’s population currently living under lockdown conditions , we truly are living through one of the most extraordinary events of our lifetimes. While we are all finding our way as we adjust to this ‘new normal’ (on top of managing a myriad of emotions that this pandemic is bringing up for us collectively and individually), we know that the experience of being ‘in lockdown’ is presenting a unique set of challenges for people with eating disorders, and therefore our AED community. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing conversations I’ve had with members of the AED on how this global crisis has impacted their lives and their work. My hope is that these conversations will provide points of solidarity, insight, hope, and courage as we move onward!  Cristina Segura García On this week’s AED Lockdown Blog series, I speak with Professor Cristina Segura García MD, PhD. Cristina is Chair of Psychiatry ...
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and approximately a third of the world’s population currently living under lockdown conditions , we truly are living through one of the most extraordinary events of our lifetimes. While we are all finding our way as we adjust to this ‘new normal’ (on top of managing a myriad of emotions that this pandemic is bringing up for us collectively and individually), we know that the experience of being ‘in lockdown’ is presenting a unique set of challenges for people with eating disorders, and therefore our AED community. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing conversations I’ve had with members of the eating disorders community on how this global crisis has impacted their lives and their work. My hope is that these conversations will provide points of solidarity, insight, hope, and courage as we move through and forward.    Christy Harrison On this week’s AED Lockdown Blog series, I speak with Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CND, intuitive eating ...
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and approximately a third of the world’s population currently living under lockdown conditions , we truly are living through one of the most extraordinary events of our lifetimes. While we are all finding our way as we adjust to this ‘new normal’ (on top of managing a myriad of emotions that this pandemic is bringing up for us collectively and individually), we know that the experience of being ‘in lockdown’ is presenting a unique set of challenges for people with eating disorders, and therefore our AED community. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing conversations I’ve had with members of the eating disorders community on how this global crisis has impacted their lives and their work. My hope is that these conversations will provide points of solidarity, insight, hope, and courage as we move through and forward.   On this week’s AED Lockdown Blog Series, I speak with Suzanne Dooley-Hash, MD, FAED,  Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at ...
Since the time my blogpost was first published, Virtual ICED 2020 has been officially announced and registration is now open. Join us! Virtual ICED 2020 will take place June 11 - 30, and will offer a spectacular array of clinical and research programming and networking opportunities, just like you’ve come to expect from our annual conference. And a plus of the virtual platform is that it will make ICED 2020 more accessible and more affordable too – don’t miss out on early bird registration rates by May 15th . Click here to register now! We are living in extraordinary times. Novelty, uncertainty, lack of control, threat: An experience with any one of these four elements can be stressful. Yet with breathtaking speed and ferocity, the coronavirus pandemic has swept us into its maelstrom of all four with an intensity and brutality the world has never before seen. With no end in sight to the pandemic, we are all in our own ways seeking guides to help us regain our balance, return to ...
“ Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance .” (Vernā Myers). Extending the famous quote by Vernā Myers (Diversity Advocate and author of Moving Diversity Forward ) above, Equity is ensuring everyone has appropriate transport to the dance, regardless of their starting location. And no, we are not talking about the infamous ICED dance party, not on this blogpost anyway. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the AED Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee to the Board , which was founded last year, March 2019. Incidentally, Equity in the above metaphor would be something along the lines that there is a bus waiting for everyone at Sydney Opera House. While seemingly fair, equality doesn’t take into account that people come from different starting points. In contrast, the goal of equity is to level the playing field. Back to the committee. Who are we? And what’s our mission? Guided by AED President, Professor Bryn Austin and CEO, Elissa ...

A Way Forward for WW

In August, WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, a company founded in 1963 to promote weight loss among Americans, released Kurbo, an app for children ages 8 to 17 years old to track their weight, diet, and activity. Immediately upon release, WW was deluged with protests and recriminations on social media from eating disorders specialists and community advocates. Mainstream media too published harsh critiques of the app, including a trio of negative pieces in the New York Times , by writers Harrison , Sole-Smith , and Klass , and accusations that the company was targeting children to create the next generation of lifelong dieters and thus WW customers. Even leading clinical scientists in the field of pediatric weight management greeted the app with some trepidation . Pediatric weight management clinical specialists Michelle Cardel of University of Florida College of Medicine and Elsie Taveras of Harvard Medical School did not come out against the app, but the “friendly fire” critiques ...
The title of the AED Research-Practice Think Tank at the 2019 ICED was Bringing Evidence-Based Practices to the People and Places that Need Them: Diverse Perspectives on Implementation Science . Recognizing that implementation research is a new concept for many people in the eating disorders field, in this post we follow up on this important topic and encourage ongoing and new conversations among AED members. In their article, An Introduction to Implementation Science for the Non-Specialist , Bauer et al. explain that implementation science arose to facilitate the uptake of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) into routine clinical care for mental and physical health conditions (Bauer, Damschroder, Hagedorn, Smith, & Kilbourne, 2015). To accomplish this goal, the scope for implementation research is broader than traditional clinical research – including provider, organization and policy-level factors in addition to individuals.  Implementation research also utilizes interdisciplinary ...
Imagine a world where girls, boys, and children of all genders believe in themselves. A world where they are willing to speak up to share their ideas, speak out when they see something unfair, and step in to lead to make positive change in their communities and lives. This is a world we want children of all genders to be able to take for granted someday. A world where they grow up never questioning that not only are their ideas and leadership valued but also seen as essential for a community to thrive. A world where children of all genders can grow up at home in their own bodies and their own communities. But for too many children, they learn they are not good enough, that their bodies are shameful. They learn they must spend their days dieting, constantly comparing themselves to society’s distorted ideals of beauty in magazines and social media. They learn to take diet pills and laxatives masquerading as “detox” cleanses, which they can buy legally in stores or online in most places ...
Academy for Eating Disorders President Acceptance Speech Delivered by S. Bryn Austin, ScD, FAED at the International Conference on Eating Disorders in New York City March 16, 2019 I want to begin my tenure as President of AED with a thank you. I am honored and deeply humbled to be given this opportunity to serve: To serve the Academy and you, our vibrant, fabulously talented, and committed membership. To serve our field of eating disorders research, practice, and advocacy. And to serve the wider community of experts by experience - hard won experience of countless individuals and loved ones around the globe in the trenches of battling an eating disorder. I am here to serve you, all of you. As I look forward to the next year as your President, I am very grateful for all the guidance I've received from President Kyle DeYoung, who very ably and deftly has led our organization over the past year. I am also very grateful for our unflaggingly buoyant and capable Executive Director, Lisa ...