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Updated Content: Worldwide List of Eating Disorder Advocacy Organizations

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Updated Website Content:

Check out F.E.A.S.T.'s Worldwide List of Eating Disorder Advocacy Organizations:

(click on the link below)

Tags:  advocacy  eating disorders  F.E.A.S.T.  international 

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Survey: Body Image in Adult Women

Posted By LeahDean_US, Sunday, April 6, 2014

Posted by request:

We invite you to complete a brief online questionnaire investigating wellness and body image in adult women being conducted by researchers at Trinity University in collaboration with Emerge. You must be 18 years or older to participate. You can complete the questionnaire from any computer and it will take approximately 20-25 minutes of your time. In return, you will be entered into a lottery to win a $200 Amazon Gift card, which will be sent via email. Also, you will have made an important contribution to research on women’s health!

Please forward this email to any women (particularly those 25 years or older) you know who might be interested in taking part in this research.

Tags:  body image  survey  wellness 

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F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide Booklet Series

Posted By LeahDean_US, Friday, April 4, 2014

F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide Educational Booklet Series

F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide Booklets are all available to read online, and download as PDF's. From our Home Page, look under the Resources Tab, or follow this LINK.

The F.E.A.S.T. Family Guide Series is a project to publish small booklets for the use of families facing an eating disorder diagnosis in the household. These booklets are designed to be well-written and represent the best current science. Our editors for each booklet are leading clinicians and researchers in the field who volunteer their time and expertise. Each team of editors is chosen by F.E.A.S.T. and the lead editor of each project.

In the Series:

“Puzzling Symptoms: Eating Disorders and the Brain”


Lead Editor: Dr. Walter Kaye, UCSD
Released: January 2014

"Port in a Storm"


Lead Editor: Dr. Walter Kaye, UCSD
Released: January 2014

"Down the Rabbit Hole"


Lead Editor: Dr. Walter Kaye, UCSD
Released: March 2014

Future Plans...

F.E.A.S.T. has plans for several more booklets for this series. One will focus on nutrition, and the other on how extended family can support treatment. We welcome feedback on the booklets and volunteers to help distribute them. Booklets are currently available for electronic download. Printed copies will be distributed by F.E.A.S.T. volunteers at conferences, advocacy events, and to local parent support groups.

Donations to cover the costs of printing and shipping booklets are welcome.

Tags:  Down the Rabbit Hole  eating disorders  F.E.A.S.T.  Port in a Storm  Puzzling Symptoms 

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Laura Collins wins AED Advocacy Award

Posted By LeahDean_US, Friday, April 4, 2014

From our April 2014 Member Newsletter:

(Join receive our newsletters)

F.E.A.S.T. is proud to announce that founder, Policy Director and former Executive Director,  Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh won the 2014 Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy at the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) recent conference in New York, U.S. 

This award coincides with Laura's retirement as Policy Director for F.E.A.S.T., and marks a bittersweet moment in F.E.A.S.T.'s history as an organization. Laura will remain a member of the F.E.A.S.T. Board of Directors as we soldier on under the leadership of a new group of advocates inspired by Laura's work.
Following is the tribute delivered by Dr. Cynthia Bulik at the conference:

have made a lot of mistakes in my life. But none so big as asking Leah Dean, Executive Director of FEAST, to send out a clandestine and seemingly innocuous email to members of the FEAST community asking if anyone had thoughts or comments they would like to share about Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh who is the recipient of this year's Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy.

On a normal day, my inbox tends to get pretty bloated, but I woke up the morning after I sent that request to a virtual deluge of comments, honors, tributes, and congratulations to Laura. So many, that I could never do justice to the depth and warmth of their words in a two minute speech. So even though word clouds are a little yesterday, here are some of the highlights of the responses I received. Leah has posted a tribute wall to Laura on the FEAST website.

For those of you who don't know, Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh was perhaps first well known for her book "Eating With Your Anorexic," which provided a blueprint for all parents struggling with the elemental challenge of parenting a child with anorexia nervosa. In 2008, Laura became the original Executive Director of F.E.A.S.T. (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders) and is now finishing up her term as Policy Director for that organization. Quoting their mission statement, "F.E.A.S.T. is an international organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders."

Laura embodies that mission statement, but personally, she is so much more.

I deliberated about how best to describe the ways in which Laura has served countless families afflicted with eating disorders, and want to focus on two main functions.

First, when families are floundering in despair now knowing how to help their dying children, Laura is a beacon of hope. She is not a warm and fuzzy beacon, but she prepares and activates parents for what is ahead of them. She lets them know that there is a way-a difficult way-but a tested approach, a support system, and teams of parents who have been in the same position who are ready and willing to guide them down the challenging path of treating anorexia nervosa as a family.

Second, Laura is like an electric car charge station. As families become exhausted, start losing hope, or begin to doubt whether they are doing the right thing, they can plug into Laura and become recharged in their resolve to work as a family toward recovery.

Laura is a tireless and an outspoken advocate and activist. One of the things I love about her is that she challenges me. Just when I think I might start being able to anticipate her perspective, she throws me a curve ball and forces me to see things in another way, through the eyes of families. She tells me when she thinks I am off base. I can tell her when I think she is off base. She can take it to the mat, and remain friends on the other side. She can admit when she is wrong, get past it, and move on to the next challenge. Her resolve is unwavering and her compass is always set to do what is necessary, even if unpopular, to advocate for families working toward recovery from eating disorders.

Yet another characteristic I admire about Laura is her constant willingness to stick her neck out-even if occasionally she has to pull it back in. Being an effective advocate isn't a popularity contest and sometimes you need to tell it like it is even if it gets you labels like brash, cantankerous, curmudgeon (all of which have been applied to Laura, sometimes by herself!). By doing so, she embodies the principle of using her voice to advocate for those who are rendered voiceless by eating disorders.

Lots of people have ideas: Laura both has them and transforms them into action. Some people get an idea, mull it around for awhile, deliberate, and then maybe at some point in the future it becomes a reality. With Laura, it's more like a direct line between stimulus and response. On Monday, she might wake up with the idea, "I think we should create a structure that will be a tribute to my dear friend Charlotte Bevan who is dying from breast cancer and will support genetic research on anorexia nervosa throughout the UK." The next day, Charlotte's Helix is built. There is a website, a logo, several international researchers in eating disorders and genetics who are participating, ways to donate money to the fund, galas planned, and videotaped birthday wishes from all around the world donating birthdays to Charlotte who sadly did not survive to see the Helix bloom. Laura is a tornado, she doesn't mess around, and she doesn't believe in insurmountable obstacles. With Laura... you blink, you lose. There are no tomorrows for Laura. Action is now. It's like no one ever told her that she couldn't do something, or if they did, she said, "Just watch me."

Maybe being a great advocate means not caring what other people think about you as a person, because ultimately you are representing a cause. Laura's willingness to go to any length to advocate for eating disorders shows that she puts the cause first.

Here's an example of, not caring about what others might say. Laura dealt with her anxiety when her friend Charlotte was having an operation by dying her hair blue. The next thing I knew, the trend was catching on. Here we have Fiona Bromelow appearing with her own blue streak. Then as I was watching the red carpet at the Oscars I was gob smacked to see that somehow Laura even persuaded Liza Minnelli to wear a blue streak to the Academy Awards!

We should all be grateful that Laura is on our team. I for one would not like to play against her!

It is my true honor to present the Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and/or Advocacy to a consummate advocate and friend, Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh.

For more tributes to Laura, see 

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FEAST Film Festival: 2014 Dallas Conference Videos

Posted By LeahDean_US, Friday, April 4, 2014
Updated: Friday, April 4, 2014

F.E.A.S.T. Film Festival

2014 Dallas Conference Videos

In conjunction with Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh receiving the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Advocacy Award, F.E.A.S.T. is kicking off our first "Film Festival" with the release of Laura Collins Dallas talk:

360 Degrees: An Advocated Vision for a Complete Spectrum of Care"

Release Date: Saturday April, 5, 2014

A new video from out Dallas Conference will be released every two weeks. For email notifications of where and when each video will be posted, please sign up below:

A tentative release schedule is show below. Dates are subject to change, so please check our event calendar on for the most up to date information.

Thank you for supporting F.E.A.S.T.!

April 5, 2014
April 26, 2014
May 10, 2014
May 24, 2014
June 7, 2014
June 21, 2014

Tags:  Dallas  eating disorder advocacy  eating disorder videos  FEAST  Laura Collins 

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Food + Love + Time.....repeat...and repeat.....and repeat.

Posted By Lisa LaBorde, Friday, January 17, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dr. O'Toole recently posted this prescient reminder on the role of time in healing on the Kartini Clinic Blog. Time.....sweet, vexing Time.

When the journey begins in such a dire place (as it so often does) progress is intoxicating and when we reach the milestone of "better" it is so, so difficult to not want "back to normal" to follow fast on its heels.  It is somewhat daunting to think that you may be feeding and monitoring for years and years to come but sometimes that is the reality.  The caregiving journey is long and healing doesn't tend to happen in a clear, straight line.  We may not be in the trenches forever but management takes time.   Along with 'nerves of steel' and 'herculean fortitude' we need to have eternal patience.    I wonder, does it help to have a clear sense of just how long it can take from the very beginning or is it too much too soon?  Is it easier to focus on the immediate goal of nutritional rehabilitation and then take a mental breather and regroup for the long haul?


A read of the "How Long Does It Take" thread on Around the Dinner Table forum is a helpful reminder for our impatient, Alpha Parent brains that along with food....time is also medicine.

Also, some research that supports taking the long view:

"Caloric Consumption and Activity Levels After Weight Recovery in Anorexia Nervosa:  A Prolonged Delay in Normalization by Walter H. Kaye, M.D. et al.

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A Training Opportunity for ED Clinicians

Posted By LeahDean_US, Friday, December 13, 2013
UCSD Eating Disorders Center FBT Training 
Monday, February 17, 2014 - Thursday, February 20, 2014

For more information, see the attached flyer, or visit:

Featuring Trainers: 
Ivan Eisler, PhD, Kerri Boutelle, PhD, Mima Simic MD, Stephanie Knatz PhD, Walter Kaye MD 

Faculty from Maudsley Hospital in London and UCSD in San Diego are offering a 4 day training program in San Diego to train health professionals in new methodologies to expand the use of multifamily therapies for eating disorders.

Multi Family Therapy (MFT) is a recognized treatment approach that has been developing over the last twelve years at the Maudsley Hospital. This approach provides a more intensive form of family intervention than single outpatient family therapy.  In common with outpatient family therapy, MFT aims to help families rediscover their own resources by emphasizing ways in which parents can take an active role in helping their child to overcome the eating problem.  At the same time families are encouraged to use the group setting to explore how the eating disorder has affected family life making it difficult for the family to follow the normal developmental course of the family life cycle.  The sharing of experiences and the dynamics of the group are important components of the treatment. The Maudsley team has recently completed a large multi center RCT, which has demonstrated the efficacy of this approach.       

Many families do not live close to experts in FBT, limiting the use of outpatient therapy. The UCSD Eating Disorder Program has developed an intensive immersion into FBT (IFT) that is completed in approximately 30 hours over one week of time.  This program is based on MFT principals, and integrates meal coaching, coping skills, and parenting skills. The UCSD adolescent day program also includes a significant MFT component, which is highly valued by families. The UCSD program also applies constructive approaches to managing temperament based on new understandings of the neurobiology contributing to eating disorders. The UCSD program has recently completed a mean 30 month follow-up which demonstrates excellent outcomes.  


To present the research and theoretical underpinning of these approaches, to illustrate how the theory relates tothe practice of MFT and IFT in eating disorders and to describe the different ways of applying MFT principles and techniques in different clinical settings (e.g. outpatient or day programs)To illustrate through experiential group participation how families engage in MFT and IFT by using psychoeducational and therapeutic techniques relevant to treating eating disorders.To provide participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence in order to apply this model to their relevant clinical setting.


The training consists of a 4-day intensive program at UCSD.  The cost is $1000 per person.


Health professionals with an interest in working within an Eating Disorders Multi-Disciplinary Team.  Experience of working with families is an advantage. We strongly recommend that where possible you attend with one or more of your team colleagues. We will be prioritizing group bookings.

Download File (PDF)

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Early Bird Registration Rates for F.E.A.S.T.'s Caregiver Conference in Dallas, TX will end on: Sunday December 8, 2013

Posted By LeahDean_US, Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Just a Friendly Reminder:

Early Bird Registration Rates for F.E.A.S.T.'s Caregiver Conference

in Dallas, TX will end on: 

Sunday December 8, 2013.

Dear F.E.A.S.T. Member,

If you are caring for a loved-one with an eating disorder, attending a F.E.A.S.T. conference is an investment in your loved-one's future. F.E.A.S.T. Families have found that the support and wisdom they receive from other caregivers can be an important adjunct to any form of professional treatment. Parenting a child with an eating disorder is not normal parenting and often counter-intuitive. Learning new skills for supporting your child when they are ill is paramount to a successful recovery.
Some testimonials from past conference goers: 

"At the meeting I got to talk with clinicians, experienced as well as just starting out (especially interesting- the young clinicians were so enthusiastic and so eager to hear from us parents!)  I got to meet inspiring recovered adult children and their families. That's something we do not get to experience on the forum. If you live near Dallas, you have no excuse not to attend, so go for it! You will not regret it! " 

"I flew across the country last year to attend the conference and it was an amazing experience to be with a community of parents who understand and are going through similar experiences. I also enjoyed putting forum names to real names (sometimes just first names, sometimes first and last names) and faces, and thanking parents who were such a help to me on ATDT." 

"The FEAST conference last year in Nottingham! UK changed my life! This has been the single most helpful thing I have done since my D was diagnosed and the help and support just keeps coming!"

Look for Speaker & Schedule information and registration links on our:

Conference Information Page

(Be sure to check out the special rates for professional collegues, caregiving couples, and students.)

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Today is "Giving Tuesday"

Posted By LeahDean_US, Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Did you know...? Today is "Giving Tuesday!"

Please Remember F.E.A.S.T. when planning your Annual Charitable Giving and DONATE today.


  • Is a 501(c)3 Charitable organization registered in the US and operating internationally.
  • Relies entirely on individual donations.
  • Has no paid staff.
  • Provides all our services for FREE.

Facts & Figures:

Donations & Membership

  • F.E.A.S.T. received $17,000 in unrestricted donations in 2012.
  • F.E.A.S.T. has received 37 unrestricted donations totalling $7,500 US in 2013
  • F.E.A.S.T. has 3,100 members from over 40 countries, up from 2,300 members in 2012.

Services & Special Initiatives

  • Supporting ED Research: F.E.A.S.T. has collected 59 donations totaling $11,500 US for the "Charlotte's Helix" Genetics Initiative. This is money that does not go to F.E.A.S.T.
  • Educational Materials: F.E.A.S.T. has printed & distributed over 2,000 copies of our "Puzzling Symptoms" Booklet and is planning to publish two more booklets in the Family Guide Series in 2014.
  • Direct Caregiver Support: F.E.A.S.T.'s "Around the Dinner Table" Caregiver Support Forum has 3,700 registered users with 100 new registrations per month. In 2013, ATDT Forum members have generated 42,190 individual posts on 2,366 threads.
  • Local Support: F.E.A.S.T. has four active Advocacy Task forces on three continents, and maintains a list of "on-the-ground" support groups for caregivers.
  • Outreach: In 2013 F.E.A.S.T.'s Executive and Policy Directors have represented the concerns of caregivers of ED patients at four professional conferences and at two NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Meetings.
  • Advocacy: F.E.A.S.T. is a proud member of the Eating Disorder Coalition, and in 2013 F.E.A.S.T. members have been granted speaking opportunities with governmental and professional representatives in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Isreal.
  • F.E.A.S.T. Website: visit our website for more information on eating disorders and F.E.A.S.T.'s Services

Budget & Expenses

  • F.E.A.S.T.  will spend approximately $9 per member in 2013, up from $8 per member in 2012.
  • F.E.A.S.T. is upgrading our administrative technology services in 2013 in order to handle our growing membership. This new system will add over $5,000 to our annual budget going forward. Your support is critical to allowing us to maintain and expand our services to our rapidly growing community.

Join F.E.A.S.T. Today and in order to receive our free Quarterly E-Newsletters, Announcements, and our Annual Report. 



Tags:  eating disorders  F.E.A.S.T.  Giving Tuesday  non-profit 

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F.E.A.S.T. Founder and Policy Director speaks to the AMA in Washington, DC

Posted By LeahDean_US, Monday, November 18, 2013

F.E.A.S.T. Founder and Policy Director testifies at the AMA in Washington, DC.

"Why do we need a full spectrum of ED treatment covered by insurance? Because EDs are treatable, but we’re not doing it," Collins said. "Yes, eating disorders are treatable brain disorders. They are not a ‘problem with food’ or a weight issue. They are not a choice by the patient nor are they caused by bad parenting or size 0 models. They are a treatable problem with the brain. Untreated, or treated inadequately, eating disorders maim and kill. When my daughter became ill, I learned for the first time that my dear 14-year-old girl had a 1-in-10 chance of dying of her anorexia—1 in 10.

"What I didn’t know then was that newer treatments can have far higher rates of recovery in a much shorter timeframe. Others need more. But few were getting any. We need insurance coverage to save lives: early intervention and access to care across settings works....The current situation for American families facing a newly diagnosed eating disorder is grim. We face a revolving door of emergency care instead of access to the care needed early on. We second-mortgage homes, drain retirement, but more often simply don’t pursue care due to financial constraints—for a treatable problem. These patients are not dying of their disorder; they are dying from lack of access and lack of coordination."

Tags:  Affordable Care Act  Eating disorders  F.E.A.S.T.  Laura Collins  Parity 

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F.E.A.S.T. (FAMILIES EMPOWERED AND SUPPORTING TREATMENT OF EATING DISORDERS) | US +1 855-50-FEAST | Canada +1 647-247-1339 | Australia +61 731886675 | UK +44 3308280031

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