Media day

It has been a fascinating media week.

A comment about enmeshed moms in the article Is Being Thin Worth Dying? led to parent protest, and a surprising phone conversation with one of the people quoted.

I read the following headline: Half of anorexic kids need force feeding and yearn to say: "No, all anorexic kids need feeding."

As an advocate of Family-Based Maudsley support from clinicians, I feel it is equally important to let criticism also be part of the conversation: Anorexia: a family’s hell

And this broke my heart: "Anorexia is a pretty unusual disease in a young man. in the announcement of a young man's tragic death. Why do we think that because the illness strikes fewer men that it is less devastating TO THOSE MEN?


  1. It is indeed just as devastating to the male sufferers as to the female - and perhaps even more dangerous in that doctors and others who could help just aren't looking for it and therefore allow unfortunate men to become really sick before getting any treatment. As for it being unusual - well so, in affluent western society, is TB nowadays, but that doesn't mean the doctors can ignore it when it does occur.

    My heart goes out to the poor young man and to his family.

    Of course it also goes out as you might have guessed to the couple in Australia - but their story has a pretty emotive and inadequate headline too - it could equally be entitled Anorexia: A daughter's triumph, speaking as it does of SUCCESSFUL treatment at the Mandometer clinic.

  2. Laura,

    I almost blogged about the one about the man who died of AN. But I had a nagging suspicion that you would beat me to it.

    Those things make me wonder what we, as a society, must be thinking. If it was cancer, a judge would order treatment (provided there weren't philsophical objections). And it wouldn't make the news (unless it was a slow news day). But we're letting people starve to death because we think it's some kind of "choice"?

  3. Isn't there a difference between saying "anorexic kids need feeding" and "anorexic kids need force feeding"?

  4. I guess that depends on whether you consider full nutrition "force feeding."

    Food isn't optional. If a person can't self-nourish, the world needs to make sure they do. Some people call that force-feeding, but that is like calling an oxygen mask "force-breathing."

  5. I think what they actually meant in the article was that half of the Australian kids they are seeing need TUBE feeding, whereas tube feeding is quite rare in the UK. Whether that REALLY means that services in the UK are better at picking out children and offering them early treatment than they are in Australia I actually quite doubt. There are probably other historic reasons why Australian physicians are keener to use the tube than British ones.

  6. I think NG feeding is partly tradition. Re-feeding consistently to re-gain weight, improve outcome and cognition. A high proportion of dieticians choose this as an option for reducing the symptoms of AN.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts