Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feed Your Head

It's official: You can pre-order my new anthology, FEED ME: WRITERS DISH ABOUT FOOD, EATING, WEIGHT, AND BODY IMAGE at Amazon. Yay!

I'm excited about this collection, if I do say so myself. There are some tremendous essays in here, from writers like Amity Gaige, the ever-hilarious Laurie Notaro, Caroline Leavitt, Ann Hood, Joyce Maynard . . . and, yes, yours truly. And they cover just about every aspect of our relationship with food. Plus the collection got awesome advance praise from Mary Pipher (one of my favorite writers), Betsy Lerner, Ellyn Satter (another one of my faves), and Nancy Redd.

Random House is producing a digital excerpt, with the introduction plus three essays. I'll load it onto the blog when it arrives.

Stay tuned. . . .

Monday, November 10, 2008

Support group meeting in Madison, Wisconsin

The Madison parents' support group is meeting tomorrow, November 11th. This group is for any parents interested in using family-based treatment (the Maudsley approach) for their child with anorexia or bulimia. Parents who aren't currently using it but who would like to know more are welcome to attend. This is a great and inspiring group of parents.

Where: Starbucks on University Avenue, Madison
When: 7 p.m.

No need to RSVP. If you want more information, please contact Denise Reimer at remier1@charter.net.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

One result of the hype around "the obesity epidemic"

Thanks to fellow blogger Carrie Arnold over at Ed-Bites for picking up on this study out of Australia, which points out an alarming rise in both obesity and disordered eating--together, in the same people.

As Carrie and some of the commenters on her blog point out, many doctors would applaud weight loss in someone considered obese, no matter how s/he achieves it. As the study's authors write:

In recent years, the obesity ‘‘epidemic’’ has received much attention in the media and from politicians, public health promotion, clinical health professionals, and others treating obesity. Perhaps these confronting, and at times alarmist, messages, have been conducive to increased levels of body dissatisfaction among obese individuals, and to a perception that weight loss at any cost is the best outcome. This might also account for the observed increase in the prevalence of binge eating and extreme weight control behaviors, as body image dissatisfaction is a risk factor for disordered eating.

Weight loss at any price—that sums it up nicely. And when diets fail (as they nearly always do), some people turn, out of desperation, to restricting, purging, and other unhealthy behaviors. Teenagers are especially vulnerable, I think, because they get a heavy dose of judgment from both peers and doctors.

So if you're a pediatrician, I hope you'll take a closer look at this study and think about its implications. If you know a pediatrician, I hope you'll forward the study on. I think our best hope for change around this issue is not creating these attitudes in the first place.

Eat well. Exercise because it feels good. And love your body for its power, its strength, its beauty, and its sturdiness.