The future of "Around the Dinner Table"

Happy New Year to all!

In the past year I have heard from so many parents frustrated with treatment, policy, and public perception of eating disorders. I hear cries for change. I have also heard from many families who have offered to help.

One family in particular made a financial donation to the "Around the Dinner Table" forum that was so VERY generous I returned it - for lack of a program that I could apply it to.

I can't do much alone, but I do believe as a group we can really make a difference for families now and in the future.

The first step is to find out what families want. Please, all readers of the forum (registered or not) do me this favor: fill out the anonymous survey at

I will share the results later this month.


  1. Hi Laura,

    I filled it out, even though I am technically a patient. I hope you don't mind.

    The forum is a fantastic resource. However, just one thing that has been bothering me for a while. I wrote;

    "My only concern is that occasionally the advice of medical professionals is ignored in favour of parent advice.

    Occasionally this is warranted, however online forums can be unreliable. Maybe there should be some disclaimer about using medical advice from parents at the users risk (ex. calorie levels, hospitalizations, medication information etc.) These things can be too easily biased and dangerous.

    Something Fishy (I know you don't approve of that site Laura. . .) has rules prohibiting advice of this manner for these reasons."

    It's not that the forum gives unreliable advice or advice my ED finds "scary." It's just that occasionally advice is given not to hospitalize a child, or to up a calorie level when the child is dangerously underweight, etc -- Recovery should be done with full cooperation of medical professionals, though I certainly agree there are lots of idiot drs.

    I don't know.

    Sorry if I've offended you!(I have a tendency, I believe, to play the devil's advocate.)

    A :)

  2. Actually as a parent I agree with you A:) - then again I do tend to play the same role ;-)

    I know Laura ISN'T advocating that parents work AGAINST medical advice - quite the contrary, she's advocating that they work with the latest, most scientifically proven medical advice.

    However just occasionally the general consensus that "THAT doctor is an idiot" or "THAT treatment facility sounds dangerously anti-parent" can mis-translate as "all doctors are idiots" or ALL treatment facilities are dangerously anti-parent". Laura does moderate the comments but not over-heavily and there ARE warnings and explanations on the "Guidelines" thread - but I guess the rest is up to us as forum users to temper our postings and to use our own judgement when reading others'.

  3. Thanks M, you "get" me don't you?

    thank you for filling it out. I actually do want feedback from everyone, and I'm thankful to you. On how to handle the quality of advice, that's a tough one. There probably should be an alert when we access the Internet in general that "results vary." Maybe on the inside of our eyelids when we wake up!

    I don't moderate comments as heavily as some boards. If something concerns me I tend to respond to it instead of delete it. I think most readers understand that they have to use judgement on what they read, and those that don't are not likely to do so because of a disclaimer (though there is one in the intro).

  4. ooo

    I didn't realize that!

    I'm very glad you didn't get angry. Just wanted to make a point, but I see you have already taken care of it.




  5. Given the content of your blog, I thought this NY Times article might interest you.

    It's titled "When Hospitals Kept Children from Parents" and the "draconian" regulations it addresses might sound quite familiar to parents of ED sufferers...

  6. Katy, Thank you! I think you are psychic, because I was just preparing a blog post on that VERY article. So appropriate!

  7. Laura, I did the poll and then had trouble signing in to Mister Poll! I'd be happy to help in some way. I believe that we need to offer support in as many communities that we can put it in...not just the cities. Lay people with knowledge of how to treat are better than experts with the wrong ideas so we need to take charge where we can. We can teach one another. We can support parents who are terrified and may need confidence that they won't break their children if they make them eat.
    Your forum is wonderful though I rarely post there. You need to let it grow and trust your own instincts on this.
    I'm cheap so I hate to see too much money spent on propaganda but it may help to have something out there that shouts that there is a home based treatment available. A simple pamphlet can lead them to the support on-line for starters. Many parents miss this. I looked for it but couldn't find anything. Most of what I learned about books was in a booklet listing many books on all sorts of related topics and it was quite helpful. I wanted stories of people who beat this on their own. We need this. I now know several parents who've helped or witnessed recovery....most at home, a few in good treatment centers. We need to see to it that there are no more fluff/retreat centers disguised as treatment for this serious disease. Our loved ones deserve better as do we.
    Just my opinion, for all to see.


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