Global warming cures eating disorders

OK, I'm kidding. But is that headline any crazier than ones you see while checking out groceries?

Warming has been proposed and utilized as a therapeutic help to anorexic patients after meals. New research shows that rats who have been turned into activity anorexics by being given running wheels but less food (you know this person in your life) change their behaviors when exposed to higher temperatures.

Ach, I just felt the earth wobble as thousands of families grabbed their ill kids and headed for the equator. May be cheaper than turning up the thermostat.


  1. No, certainly no crazier than the stuff you see in magazines - but then that's hardly possible. I do note that the study didn't seem to find much evidence for warming but unless the poor dears are actually cooked (which incidentally my daughter whose temperature controls went really weird with low weight claimed was happening to her in an ordinary NHS unit) it can't do any harm.

  2. This is the bit of this paper that I find most interesting

    'Activity-based anorexia (ABA) provides an animal model of anorexia nervosa (AN). In this model, rats given restricted access to food but unrestricted access to activity wheels, run excessively while reducing food intake, lose a sizeable percentage of body weight, become hypothermic, and can fail to recover unless removed from these conditions.'

    Now I'm not calling my daughter a rat but it is intriguing how closely this description mirrors her experience - she became ill while under eating and playing too much intensive sport, and only recovered when 'removed from these conditions' through family-based therapy (Maudsley).

    As far as heat goes, we live in the tropics, so adding warmth to our treatment was never an issue. I think in a cold climate a rest in a warm room after eating could help a little with energy conservation and digestion, maybe reduce anxiety a bit and certainly reduce the opportunity for purging. The latter may be more important than the actual heat?

  3. OK, now I'm imagining little rats in Mandometer warming jackets, doing deep breathing exercises and repeating "that rat chow is not going straight to my thighs..." "rat pellets are medicine" "I do not need to use my running wheel."

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