100 lb. Club - We are all "eating disordered," apparently




LaurieDawn
04-28-2008, 04:43 PM
So, I found these two articles to be particularly interesting, though I probably wouldn't have posted the second one had I not really wanted to post the first, so I'll leave that one without comment.

Article #1:
The disorder next door: Alarming eating habits
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24295957/

This one, I'm thinking of cross-posting on the maintainer's forum. I found it to be particularly annoying.

"Sixty-five percent of American women who responded to a national survey by SELF are disordered eaters. Eating habits that women think are normal — such as banishing carbs, skipping meals and, in some cases, even dieting itself — may actually be symptoms of the syndrome."

Here's the head-scratcher for me. Given their definition of disordered eating, I can't imagine that 25% of American women (the other 10% have an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimina, according to the article) would not fit it.

Here are the categories they discuss in the article:
"'Calorie prisoners' are terrified of gaining weight, tend to see food as good or bad and feel extremely guilty if they indulge in something that’s off-limits. Secret eaters binge on junk food at home, in the car — wherever they won’t be found out. Career dieters may not know what to eat without a plan to follow; despite their efforts, they’re more likely than other types to be overweight or obese. Purgers are obsessed with ridding their body of unwanted calories and bloat by using laxatives, diuretics or occasional vomiting. Food addicts eat to soothe stress, deal with anger, even celebrate a happy event; they think about food nearly all the time. Extreme exercisers work out despite illness, injury or exhaustion and solely for weight loss; they are devastated if they miss a session."

Using food to "even celebrate a happy event?" Yes - that's unusual behavior in our culture! (I hope the screen oozes with sarcasm there - it's tough to put the tone into the written word.)

Granted, I will concede - without the article's assistance - that I have engaged in disordered eating since I was about 12 years old. I never eat anything without feeling either guilty or virtuous, and don't even remember a meal when that was not the case. But in a culture where we are surrounded by both food and obsession with appearance, I don't understand how someone who is not naturally thin (which I think is fairly rare) can eat without either gaining weight or being very careful about choices.

And, just a further annoyance:

"And despite the stereotype that eating issues affect mostly young women, SELF found that those in their 30s and 40s suffer from disordered eating at virtually the same rates." This conclusion, despite the fact that "The online SELF survey garnered responses from 4,000 women ages 25 to 45 to a detailed questionnaire about their eating habits..." How do you reach a broad conclusion about how women in the 30s and 40s compare to women of other ages when 75% of the ages surveyed are women in the 30s and 40s?

And Article #2:
As economy slumps, so do diet and exercise
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24296399/


Glory87
04-28-2008, 05:12 PM
Ha, I realize that how I eat would be considered "weird" and "restrictive" by the majority of America. It's one of the hardest parts about maintenance for me - being the weird one who gets pouty at a work lunch when ALL the sandwichs are coldcuts on huge pieces of white bread with mayo. Or when I bring my lunch everyday and I'm in the kitchenette heating up the chicken and some yukster starts up with the "salad again? girl, you eat salad EVERY DAY, you're gonna turn green!" hijinks.

Yep, I'm weird and disordered!

Robin41
04-28-2008, 05:29 PM
This kind of stuff irritates me. The pool of potential people to respond to the online survey are SELF readers. A magazine that caters to people already interested in health, weight and fitness. So what they're saying is that 75% of people who take a health, weight and fitness magazine are concerned with their health, weight and fitness. I am shocked.


3Beans
04-28-2008, 05:43 PM
This kind of stuff irritates me. The pool of potential people to respond to the online survey are SELF readers. A magazine that caters to people already interested in health, weight and fitness. So what they're saying is that 75% of people who take a health, weight and fitness magazine are concerned with their health, weight and fitness. I am shocked.

That was my first thought, exactly!

Also, along the lines of Glory's comment, American eating in general is disordered. So if you're monitoring your health and fitness, that's considered disordered in the context of our culture.

Granted some of the behaviors described in the article are unhealthy. But it seems like the author lumped anorexia and bulimia in with calorie counting and menu planning, as though there's no difference. It just seems to perpetuate the whole notion of the healthy eater as crazed and obsessed.

Sgirl
04-28-2008, 06:11 PM
I have a very similar response to Robin 14 and I feel my inner nerdiness flaring up with rage about how many magazines try to pass off things like this as scientific data. It is not. First, in order to diagnose a person as having an eating disorder, you must be legally a mental health professional who must use the DSM IV (it may be different outside of NA, but I work here, so I do not know the laws outside of NA). A magazine can't simply report people have an eating disorder because of some random questionnaire they posted online. Second, this is the classic "self selected" survey (interesting that it was in Self Magazine). There are many factors that go into whether or not results from a questionnaire can be deemed scientifically valid enough to say they are a typical representation of an entire culture of people!! One is that it has to be a RANDOM SELECTION of the population that is mathematically calculated AND the researcher has to ask that RANDOM selection of people (with a proper demographic ratio and it has to be a big enough number to represent that population) to participate...(like polls, for example)...You can't just throw up a questionnaire you invented on a site and wait for 4000 readers to CHOOSE to fill it out and then say their results apply to the general population. I could go on and on meticulously picking apart their "results". I think the article would have been better if they researched and reported on some ACTUAL scientific studies being conducted regarding eating disorders. As a person who really does have an eating disorder (Binge Eating), I don't want to read silly and campy stories about them that a magazine is trying to pass off as hard data.

BillBlueEyes
04-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Did I miss something here or can I infer from that article that I am, by virtue of being a card carrying male, an Ordered Eater?

I'm cured! Can I go back to continuously grazing now?

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Edited to add: Someone should notify Gary (EZMONEY). He's an Ordered Eater also. He can drop out of No Excuses Week now. His work is done.

And that guy who ate Submarine Sandwiches three times a day for ten years - he's an Ordered Eater also. Just WOW.

Life is good.
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__________________
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Completed Beck Program-day 42. You’ve met your goal. Congratulations!

fiberlover
04-28-2008, 09:59 PM
I read that article and it kind of pissed me off. Taking control of your eating means recording everything you eat, planning meals and thinking about food. It's not disordered - it's disciplined. :censored:

findingfawn
04-29-2008, 09:22 AM
I read that article and it kind of pissed me off. Taking control of your eating means recording everything you eat, planning meals and thinking about food. It's not disordered - it's disciplined. :censored:

Yeah that!

LaurieDawn
04-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Yes! Yes! Yes!

I'm so glad that y'all get it! As I said in the OP, I KNOW that my eating is disordered, but it drives me crazy that the tools that I am trying to use to control that disordered eating are being classified as disordered themselves.

And I also get tired of the pseudo-science. The media does such a good job of distorting even legitimate studies that it's tough enough to get reliable information on the incredibly confusing information regarding obesity. This adds nothing but frustration to the mix.

traci in training
04-29-2008, 06:41 PM
And really - aren't we all just a collection of our own obsessions? My husband has traded in 120 pounds for two bicycles and four pairs of running shoes. I've traded in my ho-ho's for fiber one bars.

If I'm not at Whole Foods trying to find the perfect balance between carbs and flavor in a whole wheat pizza crust, then I'm at Archiver's trying to find the perfect paper for my daughter's sophmore prom pictures.

We're Americans. We don't do anything halfway! I guess I'd rather be a disordered prisoner of calories than some of the other choices.

And by the way - if it weren't for all us disordered people focused on ourselves, there probably wouldn't be any need for a SELF magazine, huh?