July 19, 2006

Drugs, no blame Ed!

Black Eyes Peas’ Fergie lied about bulimia to hide drug addiction
Washington: Black Eyes Peas frontwoman Fergie was so desperate to hide the fact that she was addicted to drugs that she even lied and blamed her weight loss on bulimia.
Fergie revealed that she had been so frantic to hide her drug problem, that when her bandmates staged an intervention, she blamed the eating disorder for her dramatic weight loss.
"They staged an intervention, at which point I told them I was bulimic (to cover up for the fact that) I was only 90 pounds (41 kilograms). I put up a whole front - I even took them to Overeaters Anonymous with me," Contactmusic quoted her, as saying.
"I've never been bulimic in my life, but when you're a drug addict, you lie. I don't want to be the poster girl for crystal meth, but it's very addicting, and people don't know just how addicting it is!" she added.

My Space, My Sickness

MySpace, MySickness:
The dark side of the popular websiteSome groups on the popular website glorify anorexia, drug abuse and self-mutilation.
Washington Post Service

A CLOSER LOOK: MySpace executives say they limit access to groups with adult themes to people 18 and over. But many groups with content that parents might find objectionable are not restricted.On the Web MySpace Groups The wildly popular online social networking phenomenon dominated by the website MySpace.com has a little-noticed underside: a subculture of users who gather in ''groups'' -- or message boards -- expressly focused on dangerous and sometimes illegal activities such as prescription drug abuse, self-mutilation and other types of self-harm.
Although most of the hundreds of thousands of groups on MySpace -- which claims more than 90 million members, about 20 percent of them under age 18 -- are built around innocuous interests such as ''hobbies & crafts,'' ''pets & animals'' and ''romance & relationships,'' others cultivate a less savory image.
The Health, Wellness and Fitness category alone contains more than 13,500 groups -- some offering support, encouragement and advice for those with various illnesses and addictions, but others glorify harmful conditions and behaviors such as anorexia, bulimia and self-mutilation, and advocate the use of steroids for bodybuilding, and prescription pills or street drugs to get high. Group members generally don't know more about the people they're corresponding with than their screen names, reported ages and other generally unverifiable information users include on individual MySpace pages.
Anton Trinidad, medical director of inpatient services at George Washington University Hospital's Department of Psychiatry, expressed alarm about the phenomenon, which has drawn little attention among health experts.
''It is very disturbing to me that there are many people that are writing on these websites that sound to me like they truly have true psychological distress and at the same time they are communicating with people who are giving them advice on how to do harm to themselves,'' Trinidad says. ``Mixed with that are tips for where to get [street drugs and illegally sold prescription] drugs. . . . [It's] kind of a free-for-all space where impressionable young minds can get the wrong advice or wrong messages.''
MySpace and similar sites, such as Facebook.com, offer a personalized platform for exchanging messages. MySpace users can create personal pages, complete with photos, that express their interests along with such details as sexual preference, relationship status and schools attended. People they identify as ''friends'' on their pages can leave comments for others to see.
To post group messages and exchange private messages on the site, MySpace members first register, free of charge, then create pages describing themselves. This gives them the option to join groups, which serve as an organized collection of messages exchanged between members. Many groups are public -- open to any MySpace user; others are private and require approval by a self-appointed moderator before a member can join.
Many participants in these groups identify themselves as adults -- but some are teens and adolescents who have joined MySpace, in some cases without their parents' knowledge. The website says users must be 14 or older but requires no proof of age. While the pages of most MySpace users are ''public'' and can be viewed by anyone, the profile pages of 14- and 15-year-olds are ''private'' by default, meaning they can be viewed only by those on their friends list. (Those ages 16 and older have the option to make their pages private.)
MySpace.com, owned by Rupert Murdoch's New-York based News Corp., recently tightened restrictions on users under 18, preventing adult members from adding a minor as a friend unless they know the minor's e-mail address or full name. This move came after a Texas girl filed a $30 million lawsuit claiming she had been molested by a 19-year-old man she met on the website. (According to news reports, the girl was 13 -- though her page said she was 15 -- when she met the man on MySpace.)
MySpace executives say they limit access to groups with adult themes to people 18 and over. But many groups, including some that discuss drug use, sex and self-harm, can be accessed and read even without a MySpace account.
And many groups with content that parents might find objectionable for their children -- including some that encourage drugs, sex parties and ''hooking up'' with other group members -- are not restricted. A 14-year-old user recently confirmed that he could access many of these adult-themed groups.
MySpace executives say the site does protect underaged members. The site asks ''members to let us know if the groups they set up are adult,'' writes Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer of MySpace, in an e-mail interview. ''Additionally we monitor the site to identify any groups that may contain adult material and take appropriate action when we encounter them.'' MySpace wouldn't say whether the site had warned or shut down any groups. The site also cooperates with law enforcement agencies, says Nigam, and has established a 24-hour law enforcement hot line.
''MySpace members join the community to connect with others around shared interests and experiences, and the groups section of the site is an important component of how the community functions,'' Nigam e-mailed. ``The MySpace community, like any offline community, permits a wide range of self-expression. . . . As a company, we are committed to smart health practices and social responsibility.''
A 14-year-old New Jersey boy -- whose MySpace page says he is 19 -- belongs to groups including ''Pain Pills,'' ''The Drug Club,'' ''Pill Poppers'' and ''i like lying on my bed for hours tripping on benadryl.'' He said his parents aren't aware he has a MySpace page or that he goes online to discuss drug use.
In messages exchanged with a reporter through MySpace and filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, he wrote, ``My parents have not seen myspace but they do now alot of the things ive done with my life but not to the full extent to which drugs ive take and how many times . . . i dont show em, its that simple. in these group we discuss the newest and easiet methods of ingestion . . . We talk about legal highs and which pills are good and we also support those who made a change.''
The groups allow users to trade tips and advice or to discuss shared interest in drugs, self-harm or other topics.
On a self-mutilation group called ''Razorblade Kisses'' -- which had nearly 200 members in a recent week -- a message displays a ''Cutting Warning Label'' that warns, ''before you make that first cut remember. You will enjoy this. You will find the blood and pain release addictive.'' And ``be prepared to withdraw from others and live in a constant state of shame . . . you will find yourself lying to the people you love. You will jerk back from your friends when they touch you as if their hands were dipped in poison.''
Another user responded: ``this is so true but its how we live.''
Some exchanges detail where and how to find certain prescription drugs.
In a group called ''Pill Poppers United,'' a user asked if it's possible to get high off the pain medication Darvocet. One reply suggested hydrocodone for a better high.
Another poster in that same group asked about where to find Xanax -- which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorder -- for a good price, without a prescription.
In a group called ''Druggies,'' a 15-year-old MySpace member started a topic called ''Which drug do you like best?'' The answers included marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, OxyContin and crystal meth.
Most of the steroid groups are frequented by bodybuilders. But some also discuss other drugs.
In a group called Steroids & Bodybuilding, for example, a 31-year-old Florida man lists prices for illegal sales of Xanax and Valium. ''If you have any questions, message me or post em in this thread,'' he states, after including the prices for 100, 500 or 1,000 pills of each type.
Robert Roth, coordinator of adolescent behavioral health at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, Md., says kids who come into his addiction clinic talk frequently of groups on MySpace, and it seems more popular among middle school students than with high school students. The parents of teens frequenting such groups ''are usually completely unaware,'' he says.
Outside of addiction programs, many adults appear clueless about the underside of MySpace content.
''I would say that those groups are probably not well known,'' wrote the Florida man who posted the drug prices. 'I think that most people view MySpace as `clean fun' and probably don't think much about groups discussing drugs.''

July 3, 2006

Health Insurance

Legislators shake hands on bill creating health insurance mandate
The Business Review (Albany) - June 30, 2006by Joel Stashenko

The state Legislature will return in September to impose a new health insurance coverage mandate in New York that has long been opposed by businesses.
Legislators made a deal in the waning hours of their regular 2006 session to require, starting Jan. 1, 2007, that health care policies in the state cover treatment for mental and emotional illnesses.

State Senate Republican Majority Leader Joseph Bruno long resisted the "parity" bill, so-called because it puts coverage for mental problems more on par with the minimum state coverage mandates for physical injuries and illnesses. The Senate promised to accept the bill after mandated treatment for alcohol and drug addictions was dropped, and after provisions were worked out that sponsors said will provide state money to cover any insurance premium increases for workers at companies with 50 or fewer employees.
The methodology for how cost increases will be made up to smaller employers will be worked out by the state Insurance Department.
The agreement will require policies to cover 30 days of inpatient treatment and 20 days of outpatient treatment for mental illnesses. They include schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, bulimia, anorexia and binge eating. The bill also requires policies to cover the children of workers under age 18 who need treatment for severe emotional problems.
Assemblyman Paul Tonko said that at a minimum, $60 million to $70 million a year will be available to offset insurance premium increases for small employers due to the new coverage requirements. He argued that it will become clear to businesses over time that workers getting prompt and proper treatment for mental and emotional maladies will save employers money.
"I think we will find as we go through time that by having access to these services, you strengthen the work force, which is always an important asset for the business community," said Tonko, an Amsterdam Democrat who has been chief sponsor of the bill for nearly five years.
A study published this spring in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that premium increases were only nominal among groups of federal workers when their coverage was extended to mental and emotional problems.
The New York requirement will expire in three years, with a state study planned after two years to gauge the mandate's effectiveness and whether it should be extended.
Jason Brown, a spokesman for Gov. George Pataki, said the governor had not seen the proposed bill and would wait until he is sent an approved bill by the Legislature before deciding if he will sign it into law.
The parity bill emerged at about the time Bruno was declaring the "Fair Share for Health Care" bill dead for 2006 due to complaints from the business community.
The union-backed bill would have created a $3 per-hour, per-employee assessment on all companies employing 100 or more workers, with the money going toward health insurance coverage for all workers in the state.

It was the most-watched of a series of bills that would have imposed health coverage requirements on New York employers, from Wal-Mart to those employing only two or three people.
The only related health coverage bill to win final approval before the Legislature adjourned June 23 was a measure requiring companies employing 200 people or more to report when those workers are getting health insurance through public programs like Family Health Plus. The companies must also say how much that coverage is costing taxpayers.
Business Council of New York State analyst Eliot Shaw said that information is valuable in a serious debate about New York's 2.7 million uninsured residents.
"The most positive aspect [of the 2006 session] is the fact that they are going to give more thoughtful consideration to what we do about the uninsured rather than the anti-Wal-Mart bills we've seen," he said.
Legislators again did nothing to address top items on the agendas of the Business Council and most other business coalitions. A new group, Unshackle Upstate, emerged from western New York to advocate for changes in workers' compensation, the Scaffold Law and other statutes it says make New York among the most expensive states to do business in.
"Have we been heard? Yes," said Buffalo Niagara Partnership President Andrew Rudnick. "Did anything happen in this legislative session that makes us feel better about the way the Legislature functions and its actual recognition of upstate issues? No."

June 29, 2006

Obesity Drug

Sick - or simply eating too much?(Filed: 30/06/2006)
Britain is reaching - apparently - a crisis point on obesity. A new pill promises to help by controlling appetite but should fat people really be turned into patients? Judith Woods weighs up the issues
The launch of a new weight loss pill has been hailed as a breakthrough by health campaigners wringing their hands over what can be done about Britain's "obesity crisis". The once-a-day pill, sold under the trade name Accomplia, controls appetite by blocking activity in the part of the brain that generates cravings.
As a nation we are steadily eating ourselves to death; 23 per cent of adults in Britain are obese
But when did being fat become a medical issue - and should it be regarded as an illness? Will the hoary old chestnuts "it's my glands" or "I have a slow metabolism" (both scientifically proven to be untrue) now be replaced with "I'm ill"? (Although perhaps not ill enough to eat less and exercise more.)
The self-avowed culprit is Professor Andrew Prentice, professor of International Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and co-author of a provocative paper published in 1995 in the British Medical Journal, called Obesity in Britain: Gluttony or Sloth?
"I have to hold my hands up," says Prof Prentice now. "Around 15 years ago, when I was at the Association for the Study of Obesity, my colleagues and I consciously started to up the ante about obesity in the media, because it was a Cinderella area and nobody was taking any interest in it. I think it was the right thing to do, but now I do have concerns, and I confess that it's a tortuous issue.
"On the one hand,'' he continues, ''we need to medicalise obesity to give people a wake-up call; they should be made aware of the health consequences of being overweight. But on the other hand, we don't want to go too far and we certainly don't want to play into the hands of the lobby that would say this can be treated only by drugs."
By all accounts, as a nation we are steadily eating ourselves to death; 23 per cent of adults in Britain are obese, up from seven per cent in 1980. An additional 42 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women are now overweight. More depressing still, the Health Survey of England showed that nearly half of teenage girls and more than a third of teenage boys are overweight or obese.
Obesity is measured by calculating the Body Mass Index (BMI) where a person's weight is divided in kilos by his or her height in metres. A BMI of 20 to 25 is considered normal, 25 to 30 overweight and over 30 obese.
The medical implications for the overweight and obese are severe; a woman with a BMI of 28 will be 18 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to a slim woman. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, with complications that can result in amputation and blindness. Obesity-linked fatal diseases include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and some cancers.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity-related conditions are costing the NHS £1 billion a year, and rising. One maverick commentator has suggested the rather Swiftian notion of a fat tax, related to people's girth, to counteract the health resources they will consume proportionate to their size.
A nonsensical idea, but in the real world the previous laissez-faire attitude towards people deemed to be responsible for their own ill-health is also changing. Just as smokers may be denied live-saving operations until they give up cigarettes, so surgeons can turn away obese patients until they slim down. Last November, three Suffolk primary care trusts ruled that patients with a BMI over 30 would not get operations such as hip and knee replacements.
GPs have also been instructed to tell fat patients they should lose weight and to give them advice on how to achieve better fitness. A great many overweight people are likely to ask for a daily drug to control their weight.
"Medicalisation is necessary in cases of clear clinical obesity, which carries severe health consequences," says Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and obesity research at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge.
"But there's a huge part of the wider obesity problem which isn't medical, which is about lifestyle and individual choice. There's a danger in medicalising obesity, particularly on the back of drug developments, in that it discourages people from taking individual action, and puts them into patient mode."
There have, of course, always been fat people. In developing world cultures where food is scarce and it's easy to be thin, plumpness is an index of wealth and status. Conversely, in western cultures where food is cheap, plentiful and calorie-rich, it is easy to be fat, and so slimness is regarded as the paradigm of beauty.
Notwithstanding the current "thinspiration" debates surrounding Victoria Beckham and her elevation to a role model for anorexics, as a society we value slimness. Women in particular congratulate each other on losing weight, which is regarded as a praiseworthy achievement - which begs the question, why are so many of us obese?
"Obesity is a classic gene-environment interaction," says Dr Jebb. "People have varying degrees of genetic susceptibility to obesity, and if you are in an environment where food is available all day long, people with this susceptibility are going to find it very hard not to overeat.
"Of course eating is a voluntary behaviour, but it's not such a free choice as it might seem. There are lots of complicated factors involved, which is why tackling obesity is a complex issue."
The so-called obesity gene GAD2 has been shown to be more common in a particular form in obese people than the non-obese. External factors include depression, stress and social and economic deprivation, which are often linked to obesity levels.
Most fatally, our consumption of high-energy processed food, which is laden with fat and sugar, has gone hand in hand with a reduction in our levels of physical activity. These, ultimately, are what trigger obesity.
A typical obese man or woman has enough energy stored away to survive 140 days without eating another burger. The obvious, and to some degree easy targets to blame for overeating are the companies that manufacture processed convenience food and the fast-food chains.
The banning of food advertising on children's programmes will help to reduce childhood obesity. But interestingly, a study carried out in 1997 revealed that the British actually consume 20 per cent fewer calories than in the Seventies. Yet still we pile on the pounds.
In our desk-bound culture, where children are driven to school and playing fields are sold off to developers, reducing opportunities for them to exercise, a huge proportion of the population is sedentary.
Professor Prentice, who, incidentally, cited sloth, rather than gluttony as the prime suspect in obesity levels, says that inactivity is a crucial contributor to obesity.
"When it comes down to it, I don't care how fat anyone is as long as it's not making them unhealthy. It's when I see the medical misery caused by obesity, that I start to care," he says. "I care about the person and I care about myself as a taxpayer."
Two years ago, the Government stated that it would halt the year-on-year increase in childhood obesity by 2010. There is little sign that this target will be met. A child with one obese parent has a 40 per cent likelihood of being obese, which doubles if both parents are obese.
Slim celebrities are routinely scapegoated for contributing to anorexia. Who is to blame for making us fat?
An area that must surely demand research is why obesity is on the rise, despite the social stigma traditionally attached to it. It is well-documented that overweight people are less successful in job interviews, for example.
Could it be that there are so now so many obese people in the country that being merely clinically overweight no longer carries a stigma? If so, that could have very grave repercussions.
"In the past, the main motive for weight loss was fashion and vanity," says Prof Prentice. "Thank goodness for vanity. I dread to think how fat we would be otherwise."

Online treatment

Online help is at hand for people with eating disordersLAURA ROBERTS TREATING eating disorders online is the future for counselling, according to specialists in the conditions.
The Eating Disorders Association says online groups can provide people with a safe forum to discuss their illnesses with other sufferers, particularly given the increasing number of pro-anorexia websites online which can exacerbate the illness.
The National Centre for Eating Disorders has launched a website for sufferers, eating-disorders.org.uk that offers a programme of personalised therapy to people seeking help to beat the condition.
Deanne Jade, the director of the centre, said the site could provide interim counselling for those on waiting lists for specialist therapy.
She said: "We are desperate for doctors to prescribe or recommend it to people who have gone on waiting lists and are just sitting around waiting with no-one there to help them.
"We can save people a lot of time and we can save the health service money. They can go online any time they like - in the middle of the night, if necessary. It's a wonderful safety net for young people who are scared to go and see an expert.
"The National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines for eating disorders, especially binge-eating disorders such as bulimia, recommends self-help as the treatment of first choice."
She added that, so far, the programme was more suited to the treatment of bulimia than anorexia.
This article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=946682006
Last updated: 29-Jun-06 01:06 BST

ED increase in Children

Eating Disorders Increasing Among Children
Tuesday June 27, 10:37 am ET

Nation's Leading Eating Disorder Treatment Center, Remuda Ranch, States Nearly 20 Percent of its Patients Report Onset of Eating Disorder Before the Age of 12

"We have seen a 300 percent increase in the number of calls from preteen patients," said Amy Gerberry, program director and therapist at Remuda Ranch's children's program. "Eating disorders are increasing rapidly in preteen girls. It's because of our culture's obsession with dieting and thinness."
"Children are being targeted with messages and products promoting diets and body image dissatisfaction," adds Gerberry. "There are more and more sexualized and objectified images of children in the media today than in the past."
Gerberry also adds there is a declining age of menarche (the onset of menstruation) in American females. Menarche can be a trigger for eating disorders in girls who are afraid to grow up.
Remuda Ranch, a leading treatment facility for women and girls suffering from anorexia, bulimia and related issues, opened a treatment facility specifically for girls under age 13 two years ago. At Remuda's children's center, the comprehensive inpatient program makes a lasting impact on young lives.
"We are seeing patients come in as young as seven and eight years old," says Gerberry. "Our program is tailored specifically to the needs of children. Therapy is much more experiential and hands-on, with an active equine program that the girls love. There's also lots of involvement with the family."
Remuda Ranch believes the following are signs of an eating disorder in children:
-- Weight loss -- Increased exercise (to an excessive level) -- Increased isolation -- Decreased desire to participate in social activities -- Obsession with weight and body -- Increase in secretive, sneaky behavior
"I recommend parents talk openly about fears and behaviors," adds Gerberry. "If there is concern, consult with a therapist."

June 23, 2006


Coping with eating disorders
5.28PM, Thu Jun 22 2006

ITV News has been highlighting the problem of eating disorders as hundreds of thousands of people battle with them daily.
Currently, 90,000 people are being treated for bulimia but doctors fear the figure could be as high as 1 million undiagnosed cases in Britain alone.
The illness is characterised by episodes of binge-eating, and then vomiting, and experts say it's the hardest eating disorder to spot, and the most common.
Another common eating disorder is anorexia which has been described as the most deadly psychiatric disorder. Specialists estimate more than 20 per cent of anorexia sufferers will die - either from collapse of their vital organs or through suicide.
Meanwhile, 10 per cent of men are said to be dealing with an eating disorder despite the belief that it's an illness that only affects women.
Specialists believe this figure too is way higher, with many more young men and boys too scared to ask for help as society's growing obsession with body image continues.

June 21, 2006

New Measures in Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity measurements in schools could do more harm than good Child Health News Published: Tuesday, 20-Jun-2006
The Government's recently announced initiative to screen the weight of four and ten year olds in schools could be psychologically harmful to children and even result in some developing eating disorders, warn researchers from Loughborough University.Supporters say the tests, which will measure the children's Body Mass Index (BMI), will help to increase parental awareness of obesity, while opponents claim the initiative could lead to overweight children being misinformed about the state of their health and, even worse, being bullied.
The Loughborough researchers - Dr Emma Rich, Professor John Evans and Rachel Allwood, from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences - agree that the potentially damaging effect on the children themselves could outweigh the benefits.
They have also expressed concerns over the use of BMI as a measuring tool, as research evidence suggests it to be very imprecise, and not a method that should be used on its own or casually to make judgements about a person's 'health'.
The team's opinions stem from their research into the experiences at school of girls and young women suffering from eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Their findings revealed that many sufferers strongly believe that their illness was nurtured or exacerbated, or sometimes even caused, albeit inadvertently, by the well-meaning actions of teachers and health experts in schools.
"Our research indicated that schools are increasingly pressing children to monitor their own diets, body shapes and levels of physical activity, which can unintentionally cause children to become anxious about their appearance, their weight and the food they're eating, when they have no need to be," says Dr Rich.
Some of the young women interviewed as part of the team's study recalled traumatic experiences of being weighed in schools, which led to them becoming increasingly unhappy with their bodies. One girl commented: "I used to be overweight, and I remember one time at school when the whole class got weighed. The teacher said, 'Oh, it's the big one' and I was the heaviest in the year."
Dr Rich continues: "The pressures on children to monitor their bodies are relentless, and they're not just confined to school in PE and health lessons, they occur everywhere - in playgrounds, at lunchtimes, in corridors, on TV and web sites, and in the home.
"It's therefore unsurprising that recent surveys have shown that many young people who believe they are overweight or obese definitely are not."
Based on their own and others' research evidence, the Loughborough team believe that a degree of panic that has been generated about the issue of obesity, and child obesity in particular, which is often ill-founded. Children are increasingly considered to be an 'at risk' group. As a result, governments around the world are investing a great deal of money in a range of new school-based health imperatives that focus on getting young people to exercise more, change their diets and lose weight.
"The initiatives being proposed to tackle the issue are driven by an assumed connection between claims of escalating rates of obesity and particular lifestyle practices, such as a decline in physical activity, poor diet and too much time spent at a computer or watching TV. Many of these claims are patently false. It's now acknowledged by some researchers that the relationships between weight, diet, physical activity and health are far more complex and uncertain than is currently being suggested," comments Dr Rich.
"While there may be health risks for individuals at the extreme ends of the weight continuum, for example those who are extremely thin or morbidly obese, there's a great deal we don't know about the relationship between weight, health and physical activity. Some studies suggest that people who are 'overweight' according to their BMI but are physically active, may well be healthier than their thinner counterparts who are not physically active. In other words, size, shape and weight might not be the issue at all."
As well as the BMI measurements being introduced in the UK, other practices now in operation elsewhere include lunchbox inspections and health report cards, and it has been reported that in Australia schools have 'fat laps', where children considered to be overweight are required to run around the school field during lunch breaks.
The Loughborough researchers say it is difficult to see how such degrading practices can be considered as positive. "Such initiatives would be considered unethical and unjust in other social contexts. They could have a hugely negative impact on young people.
"If translated into policy and practice in schools, this latest measure will certain damage the health of some children," they warn.

Funny - NOT!

I just read about an interview with Russell Brand. He actually seemed like an interesting character who I thought I was going to like, that was until I got part way through the interview and read his view on his bulimia:

'I was bulimic, actually,' he says quietly, 'from about the age of 11 or 12. And then at about 16, I suddenly became slimmer. It took a while,' he grins, 'but that bulimia, once it took hold, truly was a blessing.' Brand assumes a schoolmasterly tone. 'But if you don't use that bulimia correctly, it'll be the ruination of you.'

I cannot write down what this made me feel without using obscene language. I am appalled by his view and the fact that the quote was actually printed.
How can he talk about bulimia like this? It makes me think he is warped and also I have to question his actual bulimic period. No I'm not a doctor but surely someone who has suffered from an eating disorder and has come through it AND in the public eye would not glamourize it like this?
RArrrrrrr! This has made me so angry

To view the full article please visit:

June 19, 2006

Jade says NO!

Jade's Million-Pound 'No'
Everyone thinks that today's "instant" reality TV stars will do anything for fame and cash.
But not so Jade Goody, who's put her principles before her purse.
Big Brother star Jade has turned down a whopping £1.5m deal to promote diet pills - because of her own past as a slimming pill addict.
"After writing about my experiences in my autobiography, I simply couldn't be associated with a slimming product, no matter how good it is," she told the Daily Mirror.
Jade was nicknamed Miss Piggy in the Big Brother House, and famously stripped off to show her "kebab belly".
After she left the compound she dropped two dress sizes and made £130,000 from a fitness video.
But her weight loss wasn't problem-free. In her autobiography she admitted to developing bulimia as well as an addiction to diet pills.
Jade believes the slimming pills she took contained amphetamines, and says she once mixed them with absinthe at a kids' party.
John Dixon, whose firm sells the herbal pills said: "I admire Jade for being principled enough to turn down that kind of money."

June 9, 2006

27-year-old who passed away last August following a five-year battle with an eating disorder.

Renata's Legacy

Vince Withers (right) and Dr. Olga Heath look at a memorial to Withers’ daughter, which he displays in his family room. Graduation portraits of their son and daughter, hung on either side of a large collage of photos and diplomas in Vince and Dolores Withers’ living room, exemplify parental pride. Christopher Withers is a polite host, offering guests tea or coffee. But despite the welcome atmosphere, whenever his sister Renata’s name is mentioned, the family’s tragic loss is painfully evident.

You can almost hear a pin drop as Vince begins to reminisce about Renata, a vibrant and intelligent 27-year-old who passed away last August following a five-year battle with an eating disorder.

Her mother enters the room a while later, tears welling up in her eyes. She’s still grief-stricken by her daughter’s death, but she’s also worried about other young people experiencing the same ordeal, probably in silence. Several young women have come up to her since Renata’s death and whispered in her ear, "Ms. Withers, I’m like that too, you know," she said.

By speaking publicly, the family hopes more people will become comfortable about talking about eating disorders instead of hiding the truth and not discussing the illness.

The circumstances surrounding Renata’s death became public knowledge prior to the 2005 St. John’s municipal election. Her father, a mayoral candidate, withdrew from the race, with his campaign chairman Paul Thomey commenting that the family was "devastated" by the loss of their daughter. Having served as president and chief executive officer of NewTel until his retirement in 1998, Withers had wanted to represent the citizens of St. John’s in an official capacity. But since then he’s become an advocate of a different sort, helping parents and family members understand and cope with an insidious disorder that can have devastating consequences for its victims.

"I’ve never had so many people call me so emotional," Withers said in a recent interview. "And what always bothers me is how this one has been under the radar for so long."

The people who call ask Withers about the symptoms and what they can do to help, because people with eating disorders often don’t recognize they have a problem, or deny it. Renata began showing symptoms about five years before her death. Withers said as her illness progressed, she changed.

"The personality changes were slow, careful, but not abrasive. She lived in her room more, as if, ‘I don’t know if I want to be bugged by the rest of you,’ " he said.

Withers said when Renata was a child, it just wasn’t in her nature to be dishonest.

"If she told you a little white lie, she would come to you later and tell you the truth," he recalled.
But in recent years, he said, although she exercised a lot more than she should and was losing too much weight, she started hiding how much she was working out from her family.

"If I asked if she was exercising, she would say, ‘No, Dad,’ but she would park the car and walk," her father said.

She also became fanatical about reading food labels and counting calories.

Withers said encouraging Renata to eat more only seemed to make her isolate herself further from her family. "Renata would eat in her room rather than with the family. We’d go to a restaurant and she would avoid going there," Withers said.

Although she struggled for years with her eating disorder, Renata earned bachelor of arts and bachelor of education degrees before her death. Withers said she was determined to finish university, but had to practically crawl there as her disease progressed.

There were days when he felt Renata was too ill to go to class, but she insisted on going.
"When I would drop her off, she would stagger out of the car, she was so weak," he said. The disease eventually took a toll on her entire system, but despite having to make trips to the emergency department, Withers said the critical nature of her eating disorder didn’t seem to register with her until the end. In advanced stages, eating disorders can have devastating effects on internal organs and body systems.

Just days before her death, Withers said, Renata told her mother, "I’m in trouble." At that point, she carried only about 50 pounds on her 5-foot-10 frame. Withers said based on his observations, "once the disease takes over the person, they hate food."

"Once it’s halfway, it’s like the power of the disease takes over. It consumed her because the disease was in charge."

Withers said five years ago he knew little about eating disorders. Since Renata’s illness became public knowledge, he has come to realize that this is a much bigger problem — one many people are reluctant to talk about.

It’s estimated that as many as 7,700 people in this province are at risk of having some form of eating disorder. With that in mind, Withers hopes to establish a community-based, non-profit provincial eating disorder foundation by July. Most other major diseases and disorders have support organizations, he said, but it seems family members of people with eating disorders don’t know where to turn for information and advocacy.

Withers recently presented his proposal Health and Community Services Minister Tom Osborne. The mandate of the foundation will be to serve as an advocacy group dedicated to promoting research and providing public support and information about eating disorders, including treatment options and services for individuals and their families.

Withers said other goals will include working toward more focused and co-ordinated treatments, promoting health body images and self-esteem through public education and awareness, and advocating at various levels of government and health and community groups to ensure input and involvement in decision-making affecting eating disorder policies and treatments.

The foundation will also advocate for and support ongoing research and related medical services.

High Schooler's Guide for Middle School Kids - Tips for a Healthy Mind and Body

Girl Scouts make film for middle schoolers

A few area teens are helping middle-schoolers choose a healthy lifestyle and deal with issues including obesity and eating disorders. Marissa Agbunag, Bekah Lepp, Courtney Flack and Sarah Perkins, members of Girl Scout Troop 636, wrote, directed and produced the film "High Schooler's Guide for Middle School Kids - Tips for a Healthy Mind and Body." The girls also recruited friends to star in the film and interviewed professionals, including a physical trainer, psychologist, doctor and a registered dietitian. Their work was rewarded with Gold Awards from the Girl Scouts, the highest award the organization bestows. Call Susie Perkins at 294-6876 about obtaining a copy of the film.

May 2, 2006

Perfectionist fathers

Source: Penn State
Posted: May 1, 2006
Perfectionist fathers can reinforce disordered eating among college-age young people already preoccupied over their physical looks and subject to the demanding expectations of peers and media, according to a Penn State study.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------A survey of 424 college students revealed that, with sons and daughters alike, the father, not the mother, is more likely to create pressures leading college-age children to indulge in erratic eating habits that in turn can lead to anorexia, bulimia and other clinical illnesses, says Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, associate professor of communication arts and sciences.
"Another finding was that food itself was not the issue with students who reported disordered eating behaviors," Miller-Day notes. "Personal perfectionism, reinforced by peer and parental expectations of perfection in combination with the allure of advertising, may cause many young people to feel that they are not in control of their own lives and bodies. Eating then becomes an area in which they DO have a sense of personal control."
"These findings make clear that treatment for maladaptive eating must extend to a patient's relational network and not just focus on the individual patient," she adds. "A specific focus on the patient's history of communication with parents might provide insights into the development of negative eating behaviors. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa have a very high mortality rate. The mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of other causes of death for females 15-24 years old."
Miller-Day and Jennifer D. Marks, a doctoral student at Penn State, presented their fdinings in the paper, "Perceptions of Parental Communication Orientation, Perfectionism and Disordered Eating Behaviors of Sons and Daughters," in the spring issue of the journal Health Communication.
In a survey of 424 college students, the Penn State researchers measured the relationship between self- and parentally-prescribed perfectionism and perceptions of personal control and maladaptive eating behavior. Their data revealed that 17 percent of the overall sample participated in maladaptive eating patterns including such behaviors as vomiting because of feeling uncomfortably full.
The Penn State study indicated that father-child communicative interaction marked by high paternal standards might increase young people's risk of unwholesome eating behaviors, in part, perhaps, by socializing the adolescent to be compliant with externally imposed messages of what is considered "ideal." In this way, adolescents may become more vulnerable to media and peer group portrayals of ideal body images.
"Our analysis also suggested that perceived loss of personal control might lead to negative eating patterns," say the researchers. "If an individual feels out of control of his or her life, focusing on food intake may be one of the few arenas where he or she can assert personal control. The more young people felt in control of their lives, particularly when positively reinforced by fathers, the less likely they were to engage in maladaptive eating behaviors."

Boys 'hit by body image pressure'

BBC News

Boys 'hit by body image pressure'

Boys and girls both suffered from body image problems Pressure from peers and the media for boys to fit physical ideals can lead to eating disorders, a study suggests. Magazine images of stick-thin models and comparisons with friends have long been thought to lead some young girls to disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
But a UK study of around 500 teenagers on perceived pressure from parents, siblings, friends and the media suggested boys were affected too.
The research is published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.
For girls, it's about being very thin. For boys this was about being muscular in tone
Dr Emma HalliwellSocial psychologist at the Centre for Appearance Research
The study said: "While there has been considerable attention to factors predicting eating disordered behaviour among adolescent girls, much less has focused on adolescent boys."
This is despite the fact that the levels of body dissatisfaction exhibited by boys and girls with eating disorders are similar, it added.
The authors said they wanted to "address the gap in the literature" and look at what influences eating habits among male and female adolescents.
Lead author Dr Emma Halliwell, social psychologist at the University of the West of England's Centre for Appearance Research, said that while it might be assumed that boys will react similarly to girls when faced with this sort of peer pressure, it was important to show it scientifically.
She said: "Because there are rising levels of eating disorders amongst boys, we need to find out where we can aim our interventions."
The researchers looked at 507 adolescents aged 11-16 from a school in West Sussex. There were 250 girls and 257 boys.
They were asked about their perception of pressures to be thin, how they felt about cultural physical ideals, how they assessed themselves against their peers, and whether they were satisfied with their bodies.
They were also quizzed about their eating behaviour to see if they exhibited any disordered eating. This included extreme dieting, bingeing, vomiting after eating and obsessing about food.
Dr Halliwell said: "We found that the same sorts of factors were important for boys as they were for girls in terms of producing disordered types of eating."
She said boys and girls were both affected by peer pressure and by internalisation - the extent to which the adolescent believes living up to socio-cultural physical ideals is important.
"For girls, it's about being very thin. For boys this was about being muscular in tone," she added.
She said the main difference that emerged was that all girls viewed their bodies negatively when they compared themselves to their friends, while only boys who thought they were very overweight experienced negative associations.
Deanne Jade, of the National Centre for Eating Disorders, was surprised that the research suggested boys were succombing to similar pressures about their body image as girls.
She said: "It's symptomatic not just of body pressures; it surely springs from the fact that in today's visual culture the domains that influence our self worth are increasingly limited.
In addition, "The difference between what's deemed OK and not OK in these areas is very narrow now.
"This means that people are now judging themselves harshly in terms of weight and that seems to be infecting boys too."

March 20, 2006

Mirror Mirror

Posted on Wed, Mar. 15, 2006

True reflections"Mirror, Mirror" workshops help girls see and appreciate their real selves.
Pioneer Press

Five local teenage girls want younger girls to know that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.So, they've created "Mirror, Mirror," a workshop on self-esteem and body image aimed at girls 9 to 12. Since December, they've presented to a handful of St. Paul and Minneapolis Girl Scout troops and one day hope to create a training video to spread their message."The more the merrier," says Elle Kokkinos of St. Paul, one of the teenagers behind the project. "Seeing these girls see that they're beautiful almost makes you want to cry."Kokkinos' mother, Wendy Nemitz, had the original idea for the workshop, which fulfilled a community-service requirement for a local leadership program. Nemitz, a marketing professional, also wanted to spend more time with her daughter.Kokkinos, 15, and her friends, Elin Harm, Heather Campbell-Bezat, Caroline Thompson and Christina Letness — sophomores at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis and Central High School in St. Paul — met with a committee of women and started shaping the workshop.The workshop, which runs just over an hour, is part performance, part lecture, with big helpings of art and affirmation. One recent night, Kokkinos, Harm and Campbell-Bezat spoke to 10 fifth-graders from Troop 1158 at Randolph Heights Elementary School in St. Paul.They began by performing a skit about the new girl being accepted at school. The girl shrinks back as the Popular Girls approach."Eeww — look at the new girl … ." Kokkinos says, playing the Queen Bee. "She's wearing a green shirt, jeans."Thing is, the new girl is wearing the same thing as the Popular Girls. Some of the scouts say they have seen this happen — or variations of it."Stereotypical popular snottiness isn't right," Kokkinos says. "That goes on a lot at schools."Next, the girls tap their inner artists. Using colored felt markers, they draw pictures of themselves on poster boards. Kokkinos, Harm and Campbell-Bezat peek over shoulders and offer praise."Ooohh, I really like the hair," Harm says about one of the self-portraits.Next, the girls write three positive comments about themselves on their pictures. Some of the girls find it hard to do. After that, Campbell-Bezat instructs them to move around the room and write at least one positive comment on each drawing. The pens fly."You're a good soccer player."Love your eyes."You will grow up to be an extremely beautiful woman."The teenagers show photographs of themselves when they were fifth-graders on the cusp of puberty.The conversation moves to serious talk about anorexia, bulimia and obesity. Two scouts say they know people with anorexia. One girl reminds the rest about Mary-Kate Olsen, the young actress who was treated for anorexia."Women are meant to have fat," Kokkinos says. "The average woman is 5-foot-4 and 152 pounds. The average actress is 5-foot-9 and 100 pounds. Can you imagine that?"The teens stress the importance of eating nutritious foods and getting enough exercise — rather than trying to live up to unrealistic Hollywood standards of beauty. They circulate celebrity magazines laden with photos of stick-figure-thin actresses. Campbell-Bezat reminds them magazines airbrush photos."If you look through these magazines, (the models) all look the same," Harm says. "Look around this room. None of us looks the same."Nowhere is that more true than when the teens unveil the magic mirrors. Each scout gets a jeweled hand mirror in a pretty bag with instructions to take a good look at herself and read the comments on her portrait. Soon, a cacophony of voices fills the room."With conviction!" Campbell-Bezat says, amid the din.Scouts Mackenzie Wolff and Sarah Hoh, both 11-year-old fifth-graders from St. Paul, give the workshop a thumbs-up. They say they got good information about what to expect as they grow up — and a boost of self-confidence.Wolff says she enjoyed reading aloud the comments on her page."With attitude," Hoh says.

School Science

Belfast Telegraph Home > News

School science held back by battle of the sexes
14 March 2006

Boys want their science lessons to be about weapons of mass destruction and the effect of chemical weapons on the human body while girls prefer to learn about how to deal with anorexia or bulimia or the significance of their dreams.

The stark contrast in what pupils look for from science has prompted researchers to call for curriculum planners to consider drafting separate syllabuses for each sex. The findings emerge in a study of what 15-year-olds want from science lessons conducted by Leeds University, published today.

"The responses of the boys reflect strong interest in destructive technologies and events," say the researchers. Boys opted for alternative therapies as their most dreaded topic. Girls, by contrast, would prefer to learn about their own bodies. They wanted to know how to deal with eating disorders and they were also interested in how to beat cancer and what to do to keep fit, leaving teachers with a daunting prospect for teaching a mixed-gender class.

There was, though, some measure of agreement on what they least wanted to learn about. Both sexes were equally turned off by the thought of studying the benefits and possible hazards of modern farming methods. Neither wanted to study "famous scientists and their lives".

The findings come from a study by the Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Leeds, which aimed to find out how science could be made more popular. It follows years of decline in take-up of the subject at GCSE and A-level. Last summer the number of pupils taking a science GCSE fell by 8,000. While A-level entries rose overall by nearly 85,000 (12.1 per cent) between 1991 and 2005, entries in physics dropped by 35.2 per cent and chemistry by 12.6 per cent.

The researchers, who contacted 1,200 students in England, say most pupils did not like school science as much as other subjects. But contrary to public perception, they said they did not find GCSE science difficult.

A significant minority of students believed environmental problems were "exaggerated", "the cause of too much anxiety" and "best left to the experts".

The researchers said that the "persistence of gender differentials" in what pupils wanted to study could be described as "disappointing" in view of the millions ploughed into ensuring equity of access.

They said the question of separate lesson plans for each sex might have to be considered if the Government and curriculum planners really wanted to reverse the decline in take-up of the sciences at GCSE and A-level.

Boys like ...
* Explosive chemicals.
* How it feels to be weightless in space.
* How the atom bomb functions.
* Biological and chemical weapons and what they do to the human body.
* Black holes and other spectacular objects in outer space.
* How meteors, comets or asteroids can cause disasters on earth.
* The possibility of life outside earth.
* How computers work.
* The effects of strong electric shocks and lightning on the human body.
* Brutal, dangerous and threatening animals.

Girls like ...
* Why we dream and what it means.
* Cancer, what we know and how can we treat it.
* How to perform first aid and use basic medical equipment.
* How to exercise to keep the body fit.
* How we can protect ourselves against sexually transmitted diseases.
* What we know about HIV/Aids and how to control it.
* Life and death and the human soul.
* Biological and human aspects of abortion.
* Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
* How alcohol might affect the body.

February 10, 2006

Bulimic thief jailed after appeal

Bulimic thief jailed after appeal
Jade Bilowol

A BULIMIA sufferer who stole money to buy food has been jailed for nine months after an appeal court overturned her original non-custodial sentence.
Jennifer Aileen La Rosa, 23, last October pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to stealing $51,214 while working as a till operator at a plant nursery at Chandler in the city's southeast.
La Rosa was sentenced to three years' jail, wholly suspended for three years, for stealing the cash between November 2003 and July 2004.
But the Queensland Court of Appeal jailed La Rosa for nine months on Friday after state Attorney-General Linda Lavarch successfully appealed her sentence on the grounds it was "manifestly inadequate".
Prosecutor Ross Martin last week told the court La Rosa's disorder was "not particularly extraordinary" and that she should not escape jail because she was bulimic.
However, La Rosa's lawyer Tony Kimmins said: "It was a case of distorted perception rather than a greedy lifestyle ."
The appeal court judges agreed that bulimia was not "necessarily a reason to impose a lenient sentence".

February 8, 2006

Genetic Link to Anorexia?

Genetic Link To Anorexia?
LAKE VIEW, Iowa, Feb. 3, 2006

(CBS) There is a startling new theory about what causes some cases of anorexia: It's not the media or other cultural influences, but rather a genetic predisposition.

As The Early Show correspondent Melinda Murphy reports for a two-part series, there has to be a trigger to set the disease into motion. For some, it can be a simple case of a childhood disease such as strep throat. Just last week, 7-year-old Kennedy Pieken was in the hospital. "She got the flu over the weekend and ended up losing five pounds and getting very dehydrated. She wouldn't eat or drink anything," explains her mother, Jodi Pieken. Kennedy had lost five pounds, something she couldn't afford, because this first grader from Lake View, Iowa, has been battling anorexia for three years. "The way she was going, I was afraid she was gonna die. I mean, her hair was falling out. She looked awful," says Jodi.

Kennedy's parents didn't know what to do when their preschooler suddenly stopped eating. "I would wake up in the morning hoping she was still gonna be alive and then thinking, 'OK, now I gotta start the day over again. Trying to get her to eat.' It was awful," Jodi explains. And although Kennedy was only 4, she knew exactly what she was doing. "I nibbled on it a little bit. and then I pretended to eat it. So then I pretended to swallow it, too," says Kennedy. She admits she would put the food in her cheeks and then spit it out later. For five months, Kennedy lived on ice cream, chocolate milk and pudding. Even getting those foods down was a struggle. "Even when she would eat the pudding it would just be like sticking the spoon into the pudding, getting a dab of it, and then putting it in her mouth that way. You know, it would take her almost two hours to eat a little cup of pudding," Kennedy's father, Roger Pieken, remembers.

"There was one point, Roger was holding her with her mouth open. And I was trying to shove a tiny bite of peach into her mouth. She was screaming. Bawling," says Jodi. Asked what caused her to stop eating, Kennedy says, "I don't know. Because my brain was telling me not to eat." Jodi realized this wasn't just a case of picky eating and began to suspect anorexia; she knew the signs, because she has fought the disease herself for years "This summer, actually, I was in Omaha, at a clinic for three weeks with it. Finally, my husband and a friend of mine said, 'You need help. You have to do something.' Cause I got under 100 (pounds)," explains Jodi.

"We're finding more and more that there is a biological predisposition to having an eating disorder, especially anorexia nervosa," explains Dr. Mae Sokol, who runs a unit at Children's Hospital in Omaha, Neb., that specializes in pediatric eating disorders. "You could be born with that biological predisposition, but it doesn't mean that you're going to develop this disorder," Dr. Sokol says.

In other words, a predisposition needs a trigger to set off the behavior. In Kennedy Pieken's case, it was strep throat. Kennedy didn't stop eating because her throat hurt, but because the strep caused changes in her brain, something Dr. Sokol says she has seen before. "A small group of people who get strep throat go on to develop autoimmune diseases — in other words, problems where their body attacks itself," she explains. If your child gets strep throat, Dr. Sokol says, you shouldn't panic. "It is very normal to get strep throat. There's just a small group of children who get a problem with eating after they've developed strep, after the strep is over with." Months after the strep was gone, Kennedy was still losing weight. The Piekens finally took her to the eating disorders program in Omaha. "Her doctor sat me down. And she's like, 'I don't sugarcoat things.' Jodi said, 'You know, this is a life or death situation. And your daughter is in bad shape.'"

Kennedy spent two weeks at the clinic learning about nutrition and diet. Doctors had to use creative therapies to reach somebody her age, and when Murphy first met her a couple of months ago, Kennedy had been eating normally again. But less than two weeks after The Early Show team left, Kennedy got another case of strep, triggering her most recent relapse. The stress brought back her mother's symptoms, too. "The kids do, they notice," says Jodi. "They'll say 'Mom's not eating very good,' and that does hurt me. But it makes me more than upset and then I can't eat. I mean, I just physically cannot eat." Jodi acknowledges that it makes "no sense" that she gets upset with Kennedy for doing the same thing. Kennedy picked at her food for weeks. That's why a bout with the flu sent her back to the hospital and her parents back to the drawing board. "It's been a very frustrating day. The doctor wants, the local doctor wants to send her back to Omaha. But I just don't know if that's the right thing to do," wonders Kennedy's father, Roger.

Kennedy, who turns 8 next week, has since returned from the hospital and is on a very strict eating regimen for the next two weeks. If she doesn't improve dramatically, her parents will have to take her back to the eating disorders unit in Omaha.

Part one of this The Early Show series covered the possibility that some people are born with a genetic predisposition to such disorders. Click here to watch part one. For information from the Omaha Children's Hospital, click here. The National Institute of Mental Health is sponsoring a multicenter, international study seeking to determine whether a gene or genes might predispose individuals to develop anorexia nervosa. The reseachers need families with at least two relatives (sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) who have or had anorexia nervosa, and who would be willing to participate. The study involves the completion of interviews and questionnaires, and a blood draw. Participants don't need to travel and will be paid upon completion of the study. For more information, call 1-888-895-3886, or e-mail EDResearch@upmc.edu, or visit angenetics.org.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is the largest not-for-profit organization in the country dedicated to supporting research for the prevention, treatment and cure of eating disorders; supporting state legislative and advocacy efforts for access to treatment; expanding public education and awareness of eating disorders; promoting access and providing referrals to quality treatment for those affected; and providing support for their loved ones. Since the inception of its Helpline in 1999, NEDA has referred more than 50,000 people to treatment and tallies more than 40 million hits annually on its Web site.

February 1, 2006

State objects to bulimia defence

State objects to bulimia defence

Mark Oberhardt

A WOMAN who stole $51,000 from her employer should not have escaped jail simply because she had the eating disorder bulimia, a court was told yesterday.

In the Court of Appeal in Brisbane, prosecutor Ross Martin, SC, was making submissions on behalf of Queensland's Attorney-General, Linda Lavarch, who wanted to overturn a judge's decision to wholly suspend a three-year jail term imposed on Jennifer Aileen La Rosa.

The court heard it was the first time in Australia the effects of the eating disorder bulimia had been discussed by an appellate court.
In the District Court late last year, La Rosa, 23, pleaded guilty to stealing as a servant while working as a till operator at Hawkins Home and Garden Centre, Chandler, between November 2003 and July 2004.
La Rosa stole small amounts of cash which she used to buy food to satisfy her constant compulsion to eat, which was followed by purging. In all, she took $51,214.10 during the eight-month period.
Judge Helen O'Sullivan wholly suspended the three-year jail sentence so that La Rosa could continue to receive treatment and make restitution. However, Mrs Lavarch appealed on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate.
In the Court of Appeal yesterday, Mr Martin said courts should not be hospitals where the doctors focused on the patients alone. He said in criminal cases there were more people to be considered than just an offender who was the subject of medical or psychiatric reports.
Mr Martin said in cases of fraud against employers it was possible for a defendant to stay out of jail if the mitigating features were exceptional.
"A defendant has to have a very good story to tell and, in this case, she does not have a good enough one," Mr Martin said.
However, barrister Tony Kimmins, for La Rosa, said the sole reason for the offences was the fact his client suffered from bulimia. He said that, when combined with other mitigating factors, it was clear La Rosa's sentence was not manifestly inadequate.
"The only motivation for the offences were (sic) the eating disorder," Mr Kimmins said.
"She also has on her side no previous convictions, her youth, genuine remorse and an early guilty plea."
He said that, if the Court of Appeal believed the sentence was inadequate, it could increase it through probation, an intensive correction order or community service. All of those would allow La Rosa to remain in the community.
Mr Kimmins said there had been no other cases of bulimia being discussed in appellate courts.
Justice Pat Keane questioned how bulimia could be linked to frauds: "We do not have a rash of bulimic embezzlers."
Mr Kimmins replied bulimia was a recognised psychiatric illness.
The Court of Appeal reserved its judgment.

January 31, 2006

Heidi Klum under fire in Germany for models reality show

BERLIN (AFP) - German media took supermodel Heidi Klum to task for a new fashion reality show that they charged promotes eating disorders among young women.

"Skinny Madness", screamed the daily Bild, the country's top selling newspaper. "Do you want THAT, Heidi Klum?" it asked, next to pictures of an anorexic 19-year-old named Lisa Pitney and Klum herself in a string bikini.

Pitney, who was not a contestant on the show, told Bild that she had always "admired" Klum. But she warned that "Germany's Next Top Model", in which a group of attractive young women are weeded out by a jury until one wins a modeling contract, was dangerous.

"This show is simply awful," she said. "This is what destroys young girls and drives them to an obsession with being thin." Pitney, who was described as 1.67 meters (5 feet 7 inches) tall and weighing just 44 kilograms (97 pounds), said she was now seeking help to stop extreme dieting.
The Berlin broadsheet Der Tagesspiegel said that Klum's show had launched a debate about whether anorexia had become a "status symbol".

It said that one of the candidates on the program -- 1.76 meters tall and weighing 52 kilograms -- had been voted out by the jury during the pilot episode last week because she was "too fat".
"That is clearly in the range of anorexia," the newspaper quoted the director of an eating disorders clinic in the southern town of Prien, Manfred Fichter, as saying.
It noted that some women on the show, which drew 3.48 million viewers in its first week, had spoken openly about destructive diets.

The network broadcasting the program, ProSieben, dismissed the criticism, saying the jury members were simply enforcing norms that were long established in the fashion industry.

"This debate has been around along as models have -- just think of Twiggy," a channel spokeswoman told Der Tagesspiegel, referring to the rail-thin British model who became a 1960s icon.

"Heidi Klum says several times during the show that models must eat sensibly."

International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Responds to New Pink Video

(PRWEB) - (PRWEB) January 30, 2006 -- The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp,) an organization committed to training and certifying professionals in the field of eating disorder treatment, responds immediately:

The latest Pink video "Stupid Girls" highlights the culture’s relentless and unrealistic pursuit of thinness and unattainable drive for physical beauty. iaedp sees this as an opportunity to again remind people of the seriousness of eating disorders which have devastating effects as individuals struggle to achieve social acceptance and self-worth.

The goal of ieadp is to educate the public to focus on the victims who need compassion and encouragement in their attempts to heal. This is an illness not a choice.

President of iaedp, Emmett Bishop, MD, adds, "This video highlights how life-consuming an eating disorder can be. I am hoping that women can see the un-glamorous side of celebrity popularity founded on physical beauty alone."

iaedp does not intend to endorse Pink’s video or personal political position. However, the release of her album and video does occur before the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and illuminates powerfully the impact of these disorders in this country and elsewhere.
At the same time we applaud the message of Pink’s song and her statement which points out "that if we waste our time, money and energy on trying to be someone else's idea of fabulous, we waste our potential to be something better."

For additional practitioner comments or expert interviews, please feel free to contact a member of the iaedp Board of Directors.

January 26, 2006

Girls on the Run

Building Self-Esteem One Lap at a Time
By Janice Billingsley
HealthDay Reporter
January 23, 2006 9:59 AM

(HealthDay News) -- Hitting puberty can be like hitting a brick wall for a girl.
One day she's playing soccer and softball and hanging out with her girlfriends. The next day she can feel pressure to be pretty, thin, flirtatious and not too smart if she wants to be popular with boys.

How's a girl to navigate her way around this trap?

Molly Barker of Charlotte, N.C., thinks she's hit on a solid solution. She's the founder of Girls on the Run, an innovative program that prepares young girls for the pitfalls of puberty by combining a big dose of running with games, exercises and discussions designed to enhance a girl's self-esteem so she can enter her teens with confidence.
"I really believe that women struggle to remain true to themselves," said Barker, a former Ironman triathlete with a master's degree in social work.

When she was a teen, Barker wrestled with the pressure to fit into what she calls "the girl box," to be popular. Girls on the Run is her effort to reach young girls before they encounter such teen-years turmoil.

The effort seems to be paying off. Begun as an after-school program in 1996 with 13 third-graders from Charlotte, Girls on the Run now operates in 198 cities in the United States and Canada, and has reached approximately 40,000 eight- and nine-year-olds, Barker said. Half of the girls who participate in one 12-week, 24-lesson session sign up for more. And a new program called Girls on Track is being unveiled for older girls who are entering middle school.
"The activities make you feel really good about yourself. I've learned that you don't have to look like a supermodel to be loveable," said Madeleine Moore, a 10-year-old graduate of the Charlotte program.

"I have more confidence," agreed Tuesday Welch, an 11-year-old Charlotte graduate who has signed up for Girls on Track. "I've learned to look at myself on the inside, and not listen to what other people say about me."

A Girls on the Run program, which meets twice weekly after school, offers running at a track as the centerpiece for each session. But exercise is only part of the goal. The broader aim is to enhance the girls' social, emotional, physical and spiritual health, Barker said.
"The program is founded on three key concepts," Barker said.

The first four weeks help the girls to think about themselves in an objective way -- "This is what I believe and this is what I stand for," she said. To make it fun, Barker has created games, including one in which the names of different emotions -- anger, anxiety, joy and sadness, for example -- are written on separate index cards. The girls race each other while compiling a bingo-like collection of the cards, then talk about their own emotions and how to best manage them.

The second four weeks of the program, again including relay races and other physical activity, focuses on teamwork, dealing with conflict (such as learning how not to gossip) and building a sense of connectedness with each other.

Finally, the girls learn to understand they're part of a larger community and can use their skills and power to change the community for the better.

Nadine Koslow, professor and chief psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine, said, "This is a wonderful age to start this. The healthier foundation you have, the more you have to build on so that when things get stressful, you have the resources to cope with them."
And, she added, the non-competitive nature of the program teaches the girls teamwork and builds their self-confidence.

Melissa Welch, Tuesday's mother, is delighted with the lessons her daughter has learned from Girls on the Run, and wishes it could continue as her child gets older.
"It's going to end before she outgrows it," she said.

To learn more, visit Girls on the Run.

January 25, 2006

Anorexia in Men

Anorexia in men is a growing problem that few recognize and even fewer are willing to talk about
By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer


NEW YORK - Much has been written about the rapid weight loss of such Hollywood starlets as Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Ritchie.

But a silent population has been whittling away, dangerously, far from snarky gossip pages and under the radar of many doctors.

Men who struggle with anorexia nervosa, which is routinely underdiagnosed, often find themselves marginalized not only by their negative self-image, but by the way the disease has been stereotyped as a female disorder.

Experts say that the number of men with eating disorders is on the rise, with cultural influences like chiseled rappers, metrosexual male models and even animated heroes sharing some blame. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that a million men suffer from eating disorders - one in every eight Americans with such a disorder.
"With males, we're still at a stage that we're not on the alert," said Dr. Steven Levenkron, an eating-disorder specialist and author who has treated anorexics for 34 years.
One reason for the underdiagnosis: male anorexics often overexercise more than they undereat. Thus, rather than refusing meals, they might even eat what appears to be a normal diet - but because they spend hours every day exercising, the net effect is that they will lose weight, radically and dangerously.

As a high-school athlete, Gary Grahl practically lived in the gym and served himself dinners of vegetables with a "dressing" of tomato soup.
"I would exercise constantly. I'd get up at 3:30 in the morning and exercise before school. I'd work out after school, and again before bed," said Grahl, now 37.
Even when the 5'9" Grahl, who played baseball, basketball and football, hit 103 pounds, he obsessed about the fat content of foods. Though he was hungry all the time and loved food, Grahl always said he was full.
"A person with an eating disorder will always say they're full, but I was always hungry. I liked feeling hunger because it felt like power," Grahl said.

His goal was to weigh 90 lbs - a goal he could not reach before being hospitalized.
Whittling down to such a dangerously low weight seems contrary to the muscle-bound images of men in the media. But Levenkron said that other personality traits are at work.
"When I treat women, I'm working against a lot of media and ads - I'm outnumbered. But with men, I fight their obsessiveness," Levenkron said.

The typical male anorexic will express rigidity in thinking or overthink what should be simple decisions. Male anorexics can charm a room but lack the ability to have close relationships with others. Marked drops in libido are also common.

At least one British study, conducted by the Eating Disorder Association in London, noted that issues of gender and sexuality are often tied to male anorexia - perhaps a factor in making it a more taboo topic.
"In males who are gay there's a much higher incidence of males with eating disorders," said Steve Bloomfield, a spokesperson for the EDA. "It does particularly affect the gay community because the community has a particular interest in physique and looks, and plus, you've got the stress of coming out or not."

Another reason that anorexia can go undetected in men is as simple as the physical difference in anatomies of men and women, Levenkron explains. Because men don't menstruate, doctors can't rely on the cessation of menstruation as a physiological indicator of an eating disorder, as they do in women.

Men also might be more reluctant to talk about eating disorders - a notoriously secretive problem for both sexes.
"I had to go through therapy to learn to socialize and express my feelings," said Grahl, whose anorexia was diagnosed in 1985 and who was treated until Dec. 15, 1989. "In a way, it was immature, and I had to grow up."

Now a high-school counselor in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Grahl has been married for 12 years and has three children. He says that his life has completely turned around. He hasss learned how to have closer relationships with his loved ones and about his own needs and now he shares his experiences through public speaking.
"I want people to know, it's OK to talk about it," Grahl said. "It's hard, but it's OK to talk about it."

January 18, 2006

ELLEgirl Questions 10,000 Girls on How They Feel About Their Bodies

ELLEgirl Questions 10,000 Girls on How They Feel About Their Bodies
HealthNewsDigest.com - January 16, 2006

ELLEgirl asked 10,000+ ELLEgirls from the U.S., Holland, Korea, Russia, and the U.K. how they feel about their bodies. We asked the hard questions: Have you ever struggled with an eating disorder? Do you wish you had someone else's butt/thighs/breasts? ELLEgirl readers shared the pressures they face, their most insecure moments, and what they love most about themselves.

ELLEgirl discovered that:

60% of girls in American have a positive body image, opposed to Korea where only 17% have a healthy body image

The number one aim of polled U.S. girls aged 11-17 years is to be thinner, rather than smarter, funnier, or friendlier

While 86% of Russian girls chose being healthy over being thin, only 70% of American girls felt the same way

Only 18% of American girls have used diet pills or drinks to make you slimmer, as opposed to a staggering 68% of Korean girls

Children as young as 5 are concerned with weight and shape. Over 80% of U.S. 10-year olds are afraid of being fat; and over 50% of 9 and 10-year olds feel better about themselves when they are on a diet

January 17, 2006

Schoolgirls Face Bulimia Crisis

Schoolgirls face bulimia crisis
18 January 2006

Bulimic schoolgirls are vomiting in groups, a new trend prompting concerns the behaviour of popular teenage stars may be to blame.

Concern over growing numbers of students with eating disorders has prompted at least one school, Nelson College for Girls, to introduce a tough new regime with parents asked to vouch for their children's food consumption before they are allowed to attend school.

Bulimia has regained prominence as the disease of the famous, with many young stars, such as Lindsay Lohan, admitting to suffering from it, and American Idol judge Paula Abdul becoming a spokeswoman for the anti-bulimia cause.

This week, Dolly magazine reported that starlets Nichole Richie and Lohan were in a "skinny pact" and planned their diets together. Richie reportedly weighs less than 45kg.

The clinical head of the South Island Eating Disorders Service, Dr Geoffrey Buckett, said he was horrified to find, when interviewing a group of Christchurch students recently, that joint vomiting sessions were accepted or in some cases considered normal by teenage bulimics. He said three Christchurch students told him: "We go around behind the sheds in groups of 10 of us and drink milk and throw up." Skipping lunch and dinner before going out on a date or with friends "so your belly doesn't show" was another example of dysfunctional eating habits considered normal by many schoolgirls.

Buckett said the emergence of group vomiting sessions was an indication of how entrenched eating disorders had become, particularly in schools.

The growing gap between increasingly obese New Zealanders and ideals promoted by the current crop of super-thin Hollywood celebrities may be contributing to the problem. "If you look at talk shows like Oprah Winfrey, eating disorders and always being on a diet are staple subjects being discussed," Buckett said.

Nelson College for Girls had the worst incidence of students with eating disorders in the South Island and last year developed a rigid programme to deal with the problem, he said. Girls were allowed at school only if their parents signed a form saying their child had eaten breakfast, and students had to leave school if they did not eat lunch, he said. Nelson College for Girls principal Alison McAlpine was not available for comment yesterday, but a school spokeswoman said the school had run a successful programme aimed at combating eating disorders among students.

Bulimics binge-eat and then, to prevent weight gain, compensate by vomiting, misuse of laxatives and diuretics, fasting or excessive exercise. One in 20 18 to 24-year-olds has had bulimia at some time.

Buckett said psychologists needed to create an individual plan for schools with particular problems, depending on the number of students involved and their specific eating disorders. About 2400 new cases of anorexia or bulimia were diagnosed every year, and more than twice this number would fall under the category of "non-specific eating disorders", he said.

The Press yesterday spoke to eight teenage girls, all of whom had either suffered from an eating disorder or knew someone who had. None of the girls had been involved in group vomiting sessions. "That's just sick," said one teenager. "There was this fat chick at my school and she was always going around telling people she was throwing up, and I reckon it was to get sympathy," said a 17-year-old, who had bulimia when she was at intermediate school. A 15-year-old said she had bulimia last year, and confided in her mother because she was ashamed.

Canterbury-Westland Secondary School Principals' Association chairwoman Linda Tame said school staff were always vigilant for eating disorders among students. "If that is happening (vomiting in groups), then it is a very upsetting thing," she said. Bulimia commonly begins in the teens, although cases have been recorded in children as young as six.

An obsession or new focus on dieting or specific food regimes.
Secretive eating behaviour.
Going to the toilet straight after meals.
Becoming withdrawn or depressed.
Information is available at www.eatingdisorders.org.nz/

Have an ED, Go to London!

Eating disorder sufferers seek London helpUlster sufferers seek help
By Nigel Gould

17 January 2006 An increasing number of Ulster people are travelling to London for specialist help with severe eating disorder conditions, it can be revealed today.

Dozens have gone to the St George's Hospital-based eating disorder specialist unit for ssessment and treatment - at a cost of millions to the NHS - as there is no such help here. Since 2000, some 87 of the province's most seriously ill patients have sought help there. Last year saw the highest number of the millennium with 22 people from across Ulster attending the hospital - 18 of whom received treatment.

Ann McCann, founder member of the Belfast-based Eating Disorders Support Group, said they were receiving calls every day. "People, particularly young women, are desperate for help," she said. "Those who go to St George's are very ill - it is difficult otherwise to get seen there. This is only for the really ill patients. There is no real alternative. "Eating disorders have been neglected over the years, yet they have the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric illnesses."

The shock figures were obtained from Shaun Woodward in reply to a parliamentary question from DUP MP, Iris Robinson. In addition, it was revealed that during 2004, health boards spent over £1m on sending 11 patients to St George's for treatment.

Mrs Robinson said: "The number of local patients requiring both treatment and assessment for treatment outside the province for eating disorders has steadily increased in recent years. "A short time ago, I visited St George's Hospital to see the work there at first hand and discuss the feasibility of creating an inpatient unit in Northern Ireland. It became apparent at that stage that enough local health care staff didn't have the very specialised training necessary to operate a full-time inpatient unit, and that it was better to concentrate on outpatient and day hospital facilities and seek to develop the skills base over a number of years."

Existing Ulster services for those with eating disorders suffered a setback nearly two years ago when Northern Ireland's only consultant, specialising in the conditions, retired. But cash has been provided for a new service which, it is hoped, will be up and running within the next few months.

Last year, the Department of Health promised £1m to Ulster's four health boards to fund the recruitment of an additional 18 specialist practitioners in eating disorders. Plans are also under way for the appointment of an additional consultant psychiatrist specialising in eating disorders. "This is good news," Ann added. "There is hope for 1,700 people with anorexia in Northern Ireland and some 17,000 with bulimia." My family thought I was going to die.

As her weight slipped to just 5st 12lbs, Jacqui King's worried family thought she was going to die. Battling both anorexia and bulimia during the lowest point of her life, the Co Down woman desperately needed help. "I would not want to go back to this time," she said. "The family thought I was going to die. I never did though. "You have to realise that with eating disorders you are trapped in this world. "But you do eventually have to ask yourself are you happy with this life? You have to get it into your head that being thin does not make you happy."

Now aged 42, Jacqui has been battling eating disorders since she was 16. Back then, there were no specialist services and Jacqui was sent to her local psychiatric unit. "At that stage I was about seven and a half stone. I went to a psychiatric unit but it did not inspire me with confidence.
"I was left to have my own personal battle to sort myself out. I assumed that being thin made me a better person. I got married at 23 and that stage I had bulimia as well. My husband did not know. I hid it so well. "Later I went to a private clinic in Glasgow and stayed there for two months. A year later I was at my lowest weight, 5st 12lbs." "Around 1997 my husband went to Northern Ireland's only specialist at that time. "I went to see her and it did help. Now, I am as recovered as I will ever be but I do not think you ever fully recover."

Anybody who wants further information about eating disorders should phone the Eating Disorders Support Group on 9023 5959.


January 15, 2006

Felicity Huffman Reveals She Was Bulimic

Tonight on 60 Minutes Felicity Huffman, star of Desperate Housewives and the current film, Transamerica, revealed to Leslie Stahl that she had been Bulimic when she was young.

Unfortunately, when questioned why, she said that like many young girls it was the feeling of not being able to be thin enough. Her answer really disappointed me. I also felt that it was not honest. She breezed over the topic.

Ironically, she was very honest, and forceful when questioned if being a mother was the greatest thing of her life. She said no, and that she resented the question. It startled Leslie Stahl who didn't handle the response well. She bumbled around using typical cultural guideline question...do you not spend enough time, are you not doing the right things...yada YADA.

What Huffman, I believe, was trying to point out was, why would she go there? Why do people always go there? Here's this incredibly successful woman who's on the top of her game professional right now and all Leslie Stahl can do is ask if being a mother is the highlight of her life? I loved Huffman's comeback. I wish she had been more passionate about her experiences with Bulimia.

January 11, 2006

Lohan denies Vanity Fair bulimia story

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Lindsay Lohan has denied telling Vanity Fair that she suffered from bulimia, Teen People magazine said on Wednesday, but Vanity Fair said Lohan's comments are all on tape.

In a Vanity Fair cover story last week the star of films such as "Mean Girls" and "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" said she had suffered from eating disorders and admitted dabbling in drugs.

She said she was on the brink of physical and emotional collapse.

"I was making myself sick. I was sick and I had people sit me down and say, 'You're going to die if you don't take care of yourself,"' Lohan, 19, told Vanity Fair.

The admission that she was fighting bulimia, which made her lose weight at an alarming rate, was an apparent U-turn from interviews last year. It was when she saw footage of herself on a "Saturday Night Live" appearance looking skeletal that Lohan became aware of how ill she really was, Vanity Fair reported.

"I saw that 'SNL' after I did it. My arms were disgusting. I had no arms," she said.
But Teen People's online edition on Wednesday said Lohan denied the claims made in the article. "The words that I gave to the writer for Vanity Fair were misused and misconstrued, and I'm appalled with the way it was done," Teen People quoted Lohan as saying in an e-mail dated January 9.

Lohan accused the Vanity Fair reporter of "lies and changing of my words." Lohan publicist Leslie Sloane Zelnik told Teen People the actress has never battled bulimia. Vanity Fair defended its reporter and the story by saying: "Evgenia Peretz is one of our most reliable reporters. Every word Lindsay Lohan told her is on tape. Vanity Fair stands by the story."

A spokeswoman told Reuters that when Peretz specifically asked Lohan whether making herself sick meant throwing up, the answer was yes. Lohan's condition led to a two-week hospitalization with a swollen liver and kidney infection last year, Vanity Fair said. Vanity Fair also quoted Lohan as saying: "I think younger kids should know it's OK to experience things in life and I'm not encouraging going ... off the deep end and having an eating disorder. I'm saying, if you at least admit those kinds of things ... then they don't feel the urge to go and do that."

In the original Vanity Fair article, Peretz wrote that Zelnik had asked to have Lohan's confession of drug use omitted from the article. Lohan had told Vanity Fair that she used drugs "a little" but quickly tried to retract the admission and denied that she had taken cocaine.

January 10, 2006

Chronic Returners May Be 'Bulimic' Spenders

Chronic Returners May Be 'Bulimic' Spenders
Excessive Returns May Cost the Retail Industry Billions

Jan. 7, 2006 — There are an estimated 15 million shopaholics in America and many of them are chronic returners. Some are driven to return the things they just bought because the feel guilty, or some make the purchase for the high and never really intend to keep the items. Some compare it to the eating disorder bulimia — also characterized by binging and purging. Many consider it a harmless habit, but a woman who asked to remain anonymous said she spends 20 hours a week returning items. Shopping once cost her home and 401K fund. Returning is her way of fulfilling the emotional need to spend. "One hundred percent of the time I have regret, remorse, guilt," she said. "It can make me physically ill." It's been estimated that one in 20 Americans struggle with compulsive shopping and 70 percent of Americans visit the mall once a week.

Dr. April Lane Benson, a psychologist who authored "I Shop, Therefore I Am," said serial returning is a well-kept secret because it carries so much embarrassment and shame. It's "something people don't tend to talk about because the person who is the compulsive returner is often very perfectionistic and feels that they should be more in control," said Benson, a psychologist who specializes in treating compulsive shoppers. Benson said dopamine levels rise during the anticipation of the buy and then crash afterward.

The Impact

It has been estimated that retailers lose billions of dollars a year to bad returns.

To avoid the problem, Mauro Farinelli, the co-owner of the Denim Bar in Arlington, Va., has a seven-day return policy. "You understand how much the item costs, and it looks really good on you which brings you happiness, so there should be no reason why you would want to return," he said. "If you have shopping bags lining your hallway … and your car trunk is a revolving door, you may have a problem," Benson said. She added that people with "bulimic spending" may send others to return their items because they are ashamed and embarrassed. Benson said people should ask themselves a few questions before they buy: Where am I? How do I feel? Do I need this? What if I wait? How will I pay? Where will I put it? "Those questions slow you down so that you really begin to think about what you're doing and what are the consequences," she said.

Actress Talks About Bulimia Struggle

Lindsay Lohan, who was hospitalized in Miami this week for an asthma attack, told Vanity Fair in an interview that she has dabbled in drugs and battled bulimia.

The 19-year-old actress-pop singer said that after the success of 2004’s “Mean Girls,” she dabbled in drugs “a little,” but she quickly added: “I’ve gotten that out of my system.” When asked if her drug use included cocaine, Lohan denied it. She did, though, more openly discuss last year’s drastic weight loss. Lohan acknowledged that she was suffering from bulimia: “I was making myself sick.”Lohan said that before she hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Tina Fey and “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels sat her down.“They said, ‘You need to take care of yourself. We care about you too much,’ and I just started bawling,”

Lohan said. “I knew I had a problem and I couldn’t admit it.”“I saw that ‘SNL’ after I did it,” she added. “My arms were disgusting. I had no arms.”Lohan said she’s doing much better: “You have to learn for yourself, and you have to hit rock bottom sometimes to get yourself back to the top.

”Lohan co-stars in Robert Altman’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” due in theaters in June. She’s also set to begin shooting “Chapter 27,” a film about John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman, in two weeks.Lohan’s mother and manager, Dina, told OK! magazine Wednesday that her daughter was getting better after being hospitalized Monday night for the asthma attack.

The Associated Press

January 4, 2006

How to create a new thread?

How to create your own string?

Sarah St, You asked how to create your own string/thread whatever it is officially called. What I do is click on 'BlogThis!' This can be found at the top of the home page above the Payson Road banner. There are three tabs in a row - search this blog, search all blogs and blog this. I click on the third one.
Lol, I joined the paysonroad blog back in November but only found this a couple of days ago!

Hope this makes sense
Sarah Lou

January 3, 2006

Birth problems link to anorexia

This is a big story here in the UK right now. Most newspapers and all news programmes have mentioned this finding.

Birth problems link to anorexia

What happens at birth could have long-term effectsThe likelihood of developing an eating disorder in adulthood may be increased by having had a complicated birth, an Italian study suggests.
Maternal anaemia and placental problems were among the conditions which increased a child's risk of developing anorexia nervosa, researchers found.
Other complications were linked to the development of bulimia, the Archives of General Psychiatry paper suggested.
UK experts said a maternal eating disorders could also be a factor.
Some birth complications are more likely in mothers who have anorexia or bulimia themselves
Eating Disorders Association spokesman
Anorexia is characterised by self-starvation and weight loss, while bulimia involves food "binges" followed by purging.
Both are believed to be caused by a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors.
Previous studies have suggested links between a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the womb and other psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia.
Brain development
University of Padua researchers studied 114 women with anorexia, 73 with bulimia, and a group of 554 of the same age (born between 1971 and 1979) who had neither condition.
The women were studied to see who had developed eating disorders, and if their births had been complicated in any way, using data from hospital records.
In the study, anorexia was also associated with heart problems, low body temperature, tremors and low response to stimuli in newborns.
Placental infarction (death of some placental tissue), poor responses, early difficulties with eating, shorter than average length at birth, and low birth weight were linked to an increased risk of bulimia nervosa.
The researchers found that the number of complications affected the age at which children developed anorexia.
When there were more than five complications, women developed the disorder at an average age of 16.3.
If there had been between one and five complications, onset of anorexia occurred at around 17.5 years.
If there were no birth complications, anorexia developed - on average - at 18.8 years of age.
The team, led by Dr Angela Favaro, writing in the Archives of General Psychiatry, said such birth complications could have an effect on the development of the child's brain.
"This type of relationship is considered evidence of a causal link and would indicate that an impairment in neurodevelopment could be implicated in the pathogenesis [disease development] of anorexia nervosa."
The researchers say they do not have information about the psychiatric history of the mothers, and therefore cannot say if they themselves experienced an eating disorder.
They add: "Although it is unlikely that the presence of psychiatric disturbances in mothers could completely explain the association between obstetric complications and the development of eating disorders, maternal psychiatric morbidity [illness] could be a confounding factor.
"However, other types of maternal factors, including the outcomes of previous pregnancies, did not seem to be associated with an increased risk of developing eating disorders."
Professor Janet Treasure, of the Institute of Psychiatry, said the findings fitted in with other research in the field.
She added: "There is evidence that stress at birth - such as that caused by these complications - sets the stress system so that the sensitivity is high."
A spokesman for the UK's Eating Disorders Association said: "This is a reasonably large study. Its findings are very interesting and deserve more study.
"And there's no question that if there are complications around birth, the child needs careful monitoring."
But he added: "Some birth complications are more likely in mothers who have anorexia or bulimia themselves."