Eating disorders flying under the radar
Eating disorders are increasingly overlooked in Australia because society is too focused on obesity prevention, a leading Flinders University psychologist says.
Body image expert Professor Tracey Wade (pictured) says the ever-increasing spotlight on overweight and obesity is detracting attention from disordered eating despite statistics showing that binge eating and fasting have doubled in SA from 1998 to 2008, and that 23 per cent of young Australian women have experienced disordered eating in the past 12 months.
If you asked people whats worse, being overweight or having an eating disorder, a lot of people would probably say obesity but eating disorders are quite destructive because they cause depression, anxiety, a number of health problems and even shorten lives, Professor Wade, based in the School of Psychology, said.
Over the years society has tried to overcome racism, homophobia and sexism because we regard them as bad things but a lot of people look at fat people and think theres something wrong with them and that they should be in the out group, she said.
People have a personal reaction to obesity so it captures a lot of media and emotional attention, which tends to detract from eating disorders, but theres no reason why the two should compete obesity is a different problem that just happens to be a weight problem.
The under-diagnosis of eating disorders will be among the issues canvassed at the 10th Annual Conference of the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders, held at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide from August 23-25.
Co-sponsored by Flinders University, the conference will bring together more than 250 body image and mental health experts including Flinders Professor Marika Tiggemann as a keynote speaker to present research on the theme One decade on, where are we now?
Professor Wade, who is the scientific convenor of the conference, said aside from the increased societal emphasis on obesity, eating disorders were also overlooked in the promotion and awareness of mental health.
Eating disorders are like the poor cousins in the mental health family, she said.
We tend to hear a lot nowadays about depression, anxiety and psychosis yet eating disorders often arent featured in the information about mental health, even though its a serious mental illness.
Professor Wade said it was important to debunk the common myth that eating disorders were just a trivial problem about dieting.
The public perception is that its all about being vain and wanting to be thin people dont understand that not eating is a symptom of a serious mental health problem.
A lot of the time you get your media celebrity types who lose a bit of weight and the whole issue becomes a spectator sport, its almost glamorised in a way.
People need to understand what an eating disorder is rather than what it ends up looking like.
Provided by Flinders University
- Exercise could help prevent, treat eating disorders: study Jan 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Feelings of depression and binge eating go hand in hand in teen girls Dec 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- One in ten kids have taste problems Apr 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Eating disorders linked with autism in school children Feb 10, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Red meat found to be a good mood food Mar 20, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
12 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
10 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
6 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
5 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
12 hours ago | 4.4 / 5 (5) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |