The last line scares me

As the parent of a child who suffered from an eating disorder, I'm always interested to learn more about the possible role of leptin in the cause or perpetuation of anorexia. But the thing that makes me saddest in this abstract is this, the last line:

Similar to most previous studies we found a high rate of eating disorders among female students of nutritional sciences.

A clinician I respect called it "the elephant in the room" in the eating disorder treatment field that a high proportion of people treating eating disorders have had - and many still have - eating disorders.

I'm not sure whether this is good or bad, but I am sure it matters. And it really needs to be discussed more.


  1. Laura,

    It DOES matter!

    I can't tell you how many times either my d and/or my husband and myself have to do a double-take and recheck the words coming from our d's nutritionist, (and this also includes some of the therapists, Dr's, social workers, treatment center staff, hospitals, etc. many in the "team"), mouths.

    Many stand in outrageous pre-judgment, (and then they STILL carry that unending overanalyzing- YOU-mom/family must have done this attitude), both silently and openly criticizing, undermining, and demanding immediate changes in diet, attitude; independence within eating, mom's not providing enough social entertainment/stimulus for the child/adolescent, i.e. her fault that she's completely exhausted and can't possibly do anymore- and another favorite, take the food away promptly after the timer goes off, even if he/she hasn't eaten enough.

    And of course, this is in conjunction without providing ANY support, education, and backing while you are battling, providing care/nutrition for your child's very life, every damn day! And the whole time their mouths are moving, (I hear that Charlie Brown background noise that = adult monotone reprove), while what's so blatantly, physically present and demoralizing us is/are severely underweight, some almost skeletal, arrogant, unsympathetic providers.

    Hmmmm... the Emperor/ess has lost his/her clothes, and no one seems brave enough to point out the obvious!

  2. I agree with Tracy--it does matter. When my daughter was in a "traditional IOP" seeing a nutritionist who told us not to be "food cops" told us that no-one over two should drink whole milk, etc etc--we never knew she herself had been anorexic for many years and, although at a normal wieght, had a million food fears and rules. We found this out from our D after we had pulled her out of the program. Laura-I wonder if this is something that should be posted on the forum--we certainly were very naive about this when our daughter was first ill.


  3. Let's not forget that there are several recovered providers that offer a wealth of personal experience from their own process and from treatments that have worked and those that haven't. As in any field, there are individuals who lack the integrity and self-awareness to do their jobs well. It is unfortunate, but as with any servce, we have to find those that we respect and trust.

  4. I'm not surprised. At all. Many of the sufferers I know (including myself) have, at one time or another, wanted to be either ED therapists or nutritionists.

    My first therapist told me that she would not allow me to consider the idea of going into the ED field. She said I have given enough of my life to the eating disorder. She also said it was a very clever way for me to remain close to the eating disorder permanently. I do kind of agree with her- one of the few times. ;)

    I have had good and bad treatment providers. Several have been recovered sufferers, completely and wholly, on a number of accounts including mine. I can spot an eating disorder a mile away, and these people didn't have them. They were extremely kind and competent. Old school, perhaps, but this was also almost a decade ago.

    I don't think that having an ED makes you more or less likely to be a good treatment provider. Of course you need to make sure that these are no longer current, ongoing issues. There might even be undiagnosed persons around out there. Who knows. What's important to know is that the issue is out there and needs to be evaluated, on a person by person basis.

    Just my two cents worth.

  5. Having just actually read the abstract, it doesn't appear to compare the rates of eating disorders among nutrition students to all college students. Which is probably pretty high, depending on the actual questionnaire they used. Still an issue worthy of our time, but that's something that I thought of.

  6. Our daughter's pediatrician revealed early on that she had had anorexia herself in college.

    She was the most supportive and compassionate provider we had. She was also fully recovered and had been for many years.

    I think that's what makes the difference.

  7. I randomly found your blog...I got out of the Nutrition major my sophomore year because it seemed that every one of the majors had an eating disorder. I had struggled with food issues in high school, and didn't want to slip into I moved to being a Chemistry major. So I completely believe the quote.


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