The two strongest influencers on children’s attitudes toward their body image are their family unit and media. As clinicians, we must be attuned to our patients’ family dynamics and their online activities — and understand how these environmental factors influence their psychological and physical health. …Read More
If you feel unprepared to help a child or teen with an eating disorder, you’re not alone. A 2015 study of Family medicine, Internal medicine, Psychiatry (general,child, and adolescent) and Pediatrics residency programs revealed that less than 10% included specific training on eating disorders.
Too often, all eating disorders are lumped together as one disease with a simple prescription: eat more.
But there are lots of different types of eating disorders, as well as a whole spectrum of eating behaviors that are destructive but not clinically diagnosable.
“It’s not just ‘eat more’ or ‘eat better’. Eating disorders are about more than just food intake,” says Sara Forman, MD, director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Outpatient Eating Disorders Program. “Eating disorders are psychological illnesses with physical manifestations. You can’t just expect someone to change their behaviors without supportive medical and psychological care.”
As more research on the various forms and pathologies of eating disorders is documented, more effective treatments and support services are understood. …Read More
Notes-worthy articles from around the web
Racism, not race, contributes to health disparities.
STAT reports medical school curricula traditionally leave little room for nuanced discussions about the impact of race and racism on health, physicians and sociologists say. That mind-set can lead to misdiagnoses, such as treating sickle cell anemia as a largely “black” disease.
Reuters reports that on a study that shows parents have a poor understanding of how much sleep children need. One in four parents thought children need less sleep than is recommended, while one in five thought children need more sleep than what experts advise. Boston Children’s Judith Owens, MD, provided insight on the study noting that children can suffer health issues if parents don’t have a good understanding of sleep problems.
Are expensive treatment centers preying on vulnerable families?
The New York Times reports the advertising and the profusion of for-profit eating disorder centers, which typically cost $1,000 a day but can run much higher, is raising concerns among some eating disorders experts, who worry that some programs may be taking advantage of vulnerable patients and their families. Boston Children’s Scott Hadland, MD, MPH, provides insight.
Learn more about the Boston Children’s outpatient Eating Disorders Program