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9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted

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Science Update

 

Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  a NIMH grantee  at the University of North Carolina, debunked nine myths about eating disorders at the at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress  Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD. Among her key messages:
  • Eating Disorders do not discriminate, they affect males and females, young and old.
  • You can’t tell by someone’s size whether they have an eating disorder.
  • Families do not cause eating disorders – they can be patients’ best allies in treatment.
  • Both genetic and environmental factors influence eating disorders.
  • Eating disorders are serious biologically-influenced mental illnesses, not passing fads.
  • Complete recovery is possible.

Video excerpts from the talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” are below.

 

Myth # 1: You can tell by looking at someone that they have an eating disorder

In this first of a series of videos, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, explains why you can’t tell if someone has an eating disorder by their appearance. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 2: Families are to blame

In this second in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, explains why families are not to blame. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 3: Mothers are to blame

In this third of a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, explains why mothers are not to blame. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 4: Eating Disorders are a Choice

In this fourth of a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, explains why eating disorders are not a choice. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 5: Eating Disorders are the province of white upper-middle class teenage girls

In this fifth of a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, explains that eating disorders affect women and men across the lifespan. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 6: Eating Disorders are Benign

In this sixth in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, discusses the heightened risk of suicide associated with the anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 7: Society Alone is to Blame

In this seventh in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, discusses evidence for gene-environment interactions in eating disorders. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 8: Genes Are Destiny

In this eighth in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, discusses evidence for environmental factors in eating disorders. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Myth # 9: Eating Disorders Are For Life

In this ninth in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D.,  of the University of North Carolina, explains that eating disorders are treatable. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Anorexia

Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, briefly describes anorexia nervosa. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Binge Eating Disorder

Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, provides background on binge eating disorder. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

 

Bulimia

Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, discusses bulimia. The video was excerpted from a talk, “Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities,” presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.