Posts Tagged ‘Education’

A mother and her daughter smiling while eating ice cream

How to Help Children Build a Healthy Relationship with Food

Diet culture is so ingrained in our society that we sometimes can’t even see it. It’s in media messages that tell us that being thin will make us attractive, popular, and successful. It’s on grocery store labels that say foods are “guilt-free” or “sinful.” It’s in conversations about the latest diet or the food someone is “being so bad” for eating. 

In a culture that regards some bodies and foods as good––and others “bad”––it’s no surprise that children might start to develop unhealthy relationships with both. Unfortunately, a negative relationship with food and one’s body can play a part in the development of an eating disorder. Although a child’s environment alone cannot cause a biopsychosocial illness like an eating disorder, it is the factor we can work together to change. Parents have the opportunity to create a healthy environment around food and body image in their home, which can have an incredibly positive impact on their child’s development. 

In this blog, we will delve into how parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with food and body image.

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A woman sits on her couch with a sad expression on her face

Eating Disorders, Suicidal Ideation, and Nonsuicidal Self-Injurious Behavior

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that commonly co-occur with other mental disorders. Research has shown that 55–97% of people diagnosed with these illnesses are also diagnosed with at least one more psychiatric disorder. In addition, individuals with eating disorders are at a higher risk of dying by suicide in comparison to the general population (NEDC). This information highlights the importance of understanding the signs of suicidal thoughts and methods of preventing suicide in those experiencing eating disorders.

Alyssa Kalata, PhD, Clinical Training Manager for Veritas Collaborative and The Emily Program, joins us in this blog to discuss five actions you can take to reduce suicide risk when working with eating disorder patients.

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A man sits with his head resting on his hand

Eating Disorders and Males

The topic of eating disorders in males has only been considered widely in eating disorder research and treatment communities for the last 30 years. Prior to the 1990s, eating disorders were thought to be so rare in men that they were not typically recognized as a population that could struggle with the illness. Males with Eating Disorders by Arnold Andersen, the first textbook that focused exclusively on eating disorders in males, came out in 1990. In subsequent years, researchers have contributed new information about eating disorders in men to the field’s literature, even as the general public continues to assume that eating disorders only affect women.

Due to these trends in research and public opinion, many eating disorder treatment interventions were created with women in mind (Strother, Lemberg, Stanford, & Turberville, 2012). Thankfully, this trend is starting to change, but there is still a need for a greater focus on eating disorders in men.

In this blog, we will discuss eating disorders in men and how they may present differently than in other genders, as well as the importance of considering the male experience in the treatment, research, and discussion of these illnesses. 

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A person standing on a scale

Physical Effects of Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa is arguably the most well-known eating disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Although anorexia is the eating disorder people often think of first, public understanding of the prevalence and severity of the condition is still limited. In this blog, we will cover the basics of anorexia, including the signs, symptoms, and physical effects. 

What is Anorexia?

Low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and body image disturbance are the main characteristics of anorexia nervosa. There are two types of anorexia: restricting type and binge eating/purging type. Most commonly associated with anorexia is the restricting type, characterized by extreme restriction but no bingeing or purging behaviors. The binge eating/purging type of anorexia includes recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

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A BIPOC woman sits with her healthcare provider

Barriers to Eating Disorder Treatment for People of Color

BIPOC Mental Health Month is a time to educate ourselves on the unique mental health challenges and needs of people of color in the United States. Among these mental health issues are eating disorders, psychiatric illnesses that regularly go under-recognized and under-treated in communities of color. The reasons behind this gap are complex, ranging from eating disorder stigma and provider bias to treatment access and cultural forces. 

In this article, we will cover the prevalence of eating disorders in communities of color, barriers to treatment, and how healthcare providers can spot the warning signs and symptoms in these communities. 

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A pencil and notebook sits on top of a kitchen towel with wooden spoons off the left.

The Benefits of Meal Plans in Eating Disorder Recovery

Meal plans are often an essential part of eating disorder treatment and recovery. Developed by registered dietitians as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, they are valuable in providing structure and ensuring that the individual gets the variety and amount of food they need. In this blog, we will cover the basics of meal plans, as well as some different types of meal plans used in eating disorder recovery.

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A woman gets a piggyback ride from her partner as they smile at each other

Supporting a Partner with an Eating Disorder

It is the season of love and romance, and here at Veritas Collaborative, we are thinking about all the loved ones currently supporting a partner with an eating disorder. Though relationships can be negatively affected by eating disorders, they can often serve as a key catalyst in recovery as well. One study, in fact, revealed that a supportive partner relationship was the most influential positive factor in women’s recovery.

The support of loved ones is essential to the recovery process, but knowing how to best support your partner can be tricky to navigate. In this blog, we focus on romantic partnerships and how they can be affected by an eating disorder, as well as some helpful tips for those supporting a loved one with this illness. 

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An adolescent speaks to providers sitting beside her

PHP/IOP Treatment at Veritas Collaborative

At Veritas Collaborative, we offer a full continuum of care for people with eating disorders of all types. Ranging from inpatient to outpatient, the levels of care vary according to the level of support and structure they provide. These diverse and distinct levels support our individualized approach to treatment.

In this article, we provide an overview of both our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Learn the components of PHP/IOP for adults, adolescents, and children and how day programs differ from other kinds of treatments on the care continuum.

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Holiday gifts

Hope for the Holidays

Nearly two years into the pandemic, we continue to feel its deep impact on our lives. COVID-19 has changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we spend our time. It has taken 750,000 lives from us and impacted the physical and mental health of countless more.

This holiday season, Mark Warren, MD, MPH, FAED, Chief Medical Officer of Veritas Collaborative, joins us to reflect on the continued impact of COVID on those with eating disorders and look forward to a year of hope and better health.

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Male looking in mirror

The Difference Between Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

In any individual, eating disorders can be tough to notice or diagnose, especially because they are so common. Diet culture and the glorification of over-exercise may leave many warning signs of eating disorders unnoticed and are sometimes mistakenly seen as positive instead of worrisome.

It can be confusing to distinguish the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders. There is a gray area which disordered eating sits because of the potential less severe or less frequent restricting, purging, overeating, or irregular eating patterns. These patterns are usually much more frequent, and sometimes obsessive, in eating disorders. In this blog, we will dive into the differences between disordered eating and eating disorders.

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Beth Harrell

Episode 77: A Collaborative Approach to Treatment with Beth Harrell

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, guest Beth Harrell, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD-S, discusses her experience in the eating disorder field, and reflects on how much eating disorder education and training has evolved since she got her start in the early 1990s. The bedrock of Beth’s career success is collaboration. She emphasizes the value of learning from clients’ lived experiences, as well as from the wisdom and vulnerability of fellow professionals. As a certified eating disorder supervisor, Beth debunks the notion that supervision is just case consultation. She guides from a place of mentorship and trauma-informed nutrition care, largely inspired by the perspective-broadening experiences she had with her own supervisors.

Beth is a collaborative and weight-inclusive nutrition professional who has worked with eating disorders, disordered eating, and chronic dieting for the past 30 years. Her work spans all levels of care, treating a full spectrum of diagnoses and ages. Beth’s passions are anything that includes learning and teaching. She has an educational podcast for eating disorder professionals (The SeasonED RD) and carries this knowledge into professional supervision, as well as a graduate elective course for dietitians each fall semester.

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Person pushing a cart through a grocery store

Food Insecurity and Eating Disorders

Life is unpredictable. Unexpected expenses like layoffs, medical emergencies, or home repairs can force families to choose between buying food or paying their bills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that 10.2% of American households experienced food insecurity in 2021. The percentage translates to more than 34 million people, including 9 million children. These millions of Americans are at risk of experiencing the serious physical and psychological consequences of food insecurity, including eating disorders

In this blog, we will examine the topic of food insecurity and its connection to eating disorders, as well as what we can do to help those affected. 

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity describes a lack of consistent access to enough food for every member of a household. The issue disproportionally affects marginalized communities, including people of color, people with disabilities, and low-income households. In addition, low-income neighborhoods tend to have fewer supermarkets and grocery stores, which can leave them with lower-quality food options. 

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Physical Effects of Bulimia Nervosa

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Bulimia nervosa, like all eating disorders, is associated with both long- and short-term health consequences. Without professional help, this illness is incredibly damaging to the body––even life-threatening. With early intervention and treatment, however, it’s possible to prevent these health effects from becoming lifelong issues. In this blog, we will discuss what bulimia entails, the warning signs and symptoms, and the physical health effects so that you can help those struggling get connected to help as soon as possible.

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia is characterized by recurrent binge eating and purging behaviors, along with a preoccupation with body appearance. Those diagnosed with the condition typically consume large amounts of food in a discrete period of time and then purge in an effort to control their body weight or shape. Purging can include self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic misuse, insulin mismanagement, and excessive exercise. 

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Margo Maine

Invisible Women: Eating Disorders Hiding in Plain Sight

“Eating disorders.” Reading those two words, most of us just visualized a teenage or college-aged girl. And let’s be honest—she’s probably white as well.

Not so long ago, age seemed to immunize adult women from the body image concerns, weight issues, and eating disorders that plague the younger years. Although most cases still appear in adolescent girls and young women, an alarming shift has occurred. Eating disorders have been on the rise among middle-aged and older women. Between 1999 and 2009, inpatient admissions showed the greatest increase in this group, with women over age 45 accounting for a full 25% of those admissions in the United States. Despite this, these women are invisible in our healthcare system. This must change.

The cultural pressures to be perfect—including having a flawless, slim body—have no expiration dates and no boundaries. This pressure is now occurring across age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ability, class, culture, and place. Our fast-moving consumer culture has created unprecedented opportunities and stress for women. Despite growing economic strength, political influence, and educational and career opportunities, a Gallup Well-Being Index indicates that women aged 45 to 64 have the lowest well-being and highest stress of any age group or gender in the United States.

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A group of adults sitting in a circle

The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Care Team

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that require medical, psychological, and nutritional treatment. At Veritas Collaborative, every member of the multidisciplinary treatment team plays an essential role in a patient’s recovery. In higher levels of care, eating disorder specialists collaborate to deliver treatment that fits the unique needs of each individual in our care. 

In this blog, you will learn about the varied roles that make up our multidisciplinary team of professionals, as well as how each team member contributes to the evidence-based treatment of eating disorders.

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A woman stands outside holding a notebook and looking at her phone while listening to a podcast

Top 5 Podcast Episodes for Eating Disorder Awareness

Here at Veritas Collaborative, we are recognizing Eating Disorders Awareness Week, an annual campaign to educate the public about the realities of eating disorders, as well as provide hope, support, and visibility to individuals and families affected by these illnesses. 

In honor of this week, we are spotlighting five episodes of Peace Meal that raise awareness and provide education on eating disorders. Peace Meal, a podcast we co-produce with The Emily Program, covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking. In each episode, our host Dr. Jillian Lampert speaks with experts in the field and those experiencing recovery for themselves. Check out these five episodes to learn the basics of eating disorders and who they affect, why it’s possible to recover, and more. 

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A teen boy with glasses and a hoodie looks thoughtfully towards the sky

Eating Disorders 101: Warning Signs, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Each February, Veritas Collaborative recognizes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with education about the illness that affects our patients and their families. The national campaign aims to increase public understanding and support for eating disorders, widespread yet often misunderstood mental health conditions.   

Nearly 30 million Americans experience an eating disorder in their lifetime. The vast majority, however, do not receive care due to stigma, misinformation, and access barriers. Increasing our understanding of these serious illnesses is crucial to improving early detection and intervention. In this blog, we provide a general overview of eating disorders, including the types, risk factors, and warning signs, as well as the importance of multidisciplinary treatment.  

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Woman meditating on a dock on a lake

Practicing Self-Care in the New Year

Happy New Year! As we settle into the month of January, reflection on the year before and dreams of the year ahead are the focus for many. Discussion of “be better” and “do more” goals, resolutions, tasks, and dreams are floating around in the minds of many. 

What if we instead focused on goals that center on ways we can better engage in a self-care practice? What if we tried taking care of ourselves, exactly as we are, and made sure that we managed the things that are present in our everyday lives, today, in the moment?

In all the self-care conversations, research, and TED Talks, we find ideas for successful self-care, as well as what self-care is and is not. Surveys seem to indicate that most people agree that self-care is both important and valuable. However, at the same time, many people report that they don’t have time for it or that they struggle to put themselves before the many other tasks at hand.

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Woman sitting with food

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating is a method that trusts the body’s natural intuition to guide a person’s eating decisions. It is about eating mindfully and dismissing food rules that have been made from either childhood, family rules, diet culture, misinformation about food, or eating disorders. Intuitive eating is not a diet, but a way to work with your body to notice signs of either hunger or fullness. These are internal signs that allow the body to be the expert of its physical and psychological needs.

The intuitive eating approach relies on the body’s natural intuition. However, eating often feels far from intuitive for many people, as diet culture and disordered eating habits create distance from this natural intuition. A strong mind-body connection is needed with intuitive eating; without it, the mind can’t act as a manager for the body’s hunger and nutritional needs. An eating disorder can make it difficult to satisfy the body’s needs, relying instead on external rules. This blog aims to inform you of the principles of intuitive eating as well as what intuitive eating looks like.  

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A woman in a larger body sitting on her balcony with a book and a glass of wine

Weight Stigma and Weight-Based Bullying

We are completely entrenched in diet culture, a society obsessed with thinness and dieting. Weight and food bias are so commonplace, contributing to our thoughts and actions in ways that they are hard to even recognize. No one is immune to these biases, and if they’re left unchecked, they can manifest in interactions that play a part in the development of an eating disorder.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, an awareness event created to prevent childhood bullying and promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. The best-known environmental contributor to the development of eating disorders may be the sociocultural idealization of thinness, but weight-based bullying or even just appearance-based comments is another important environmental contributor. In this article, we will cover weight stigma and weight-based bullying, their impact, and what we can do to make a difference. 

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