Rhymes with 'barbarian'

Skim this piece really quick:

Food First - TIME

Now go back and look at the year it was published.

I know! I know!**

** Say this in the inflection of Prunella Scales from Fawlty Towers when on the phone to her sister, for best effect. To my husband's growing dismay, I do!

THE ORIGINAL PAPER: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2026117&blobtype=pdf


  1. Whoa! I love this piece - "pump the patient full of food" and "the only treatable aspect of the baffling disorder is starvation, and the cure for starvation is food"! And from 1958. In this era of instant communication, we have such great opportunities for disseminating the info about what works, quickly and efficiently. Thanks for all you do, Laura, in this regard.

  2. "Sometimes the mere fact of being well fed helps the patient to shuck off the emotional problem. In any case, a starving patient is not a proper subject for any other treatment.

    Why have general physicians let anorexia nervosa slip away to the borderlands of psychiatry? Probably, suggests Dr. Williams, because patients often have emotional symptoms suggesting schizophrenia, and the G.P. feels out of his depth. But none of the 53 patients in this study ever needed long care in a mental hospital. And 23 of them recovered completely—some of them spontaneously, others after routine follow-up attention and reassurance. "Specialized psychotherapy," says Dr. Williams firmly, "is not indicated." ""

    OK, I know that quote above is fully half the article, but I just wanted to see it again.


  3. And Dr. Williams letter to the British Medical Journal, long ago, and his comments on intubation in his patients.



  4. I am using RET to cure gluttony. It may be helpful for anorexia but the organic component still needs to be better understood.

  5. Amazing, interesting how "sometimes the thing we resist the most is what is needed" how applicable that is to food! I realize that food, re-feeding and weight restoration alone is not adequate however I don't see how doing anything else prior to weight/nutritional restoration can be deemed effective! Interesting how this article has been buried for so long and yet still so applicable!

  6. Although as a writer, I object to some of the verbiage (tubes "shoved" in their stomachs), it is amazing that such wisdom has been around for 50 years.

    Even William Gull, the person to coin the term "anorexia nervosa" in the 1860s, recommended weight restoration rather than waiting for the sufferer to "want" to eat again. Granted, he also started the grand tradition of parentectomy, but nonetheless.

    I think we get stuck on the "why." I really think we do. This will be a blog post for later today, but there's this need to understand EDs and for the sufferer to understand their own illness that just mucks things up.

  7. Where is this brillant man now?

    How did this 'ahead of it's time' paper get lost and ignored for so long?

  8. Williams' obit:


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