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Starving a child is not research, it is harm

I’m angry. A lot of us are angry.

Despite horrified protest from many corners, the Fast Track study is still going on.

I’m reminded of the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis “Experiment.” Of the Minnesota Semi-Starvation Study that could never pass an ethics test now.

Perhaps this topic hits parents of those who have suffered from any eating disorder harder than other people. Or maybe, parent eating disorder advocates are able to speak out where others fear career repercussions. Certainly, the lack of loud, united, and effective protest against an admittedly extreme form of healthcare negligence in the Fast Track study is evidence of a tragic and unforgivable problem far beyond this study.

Why are we still having to talk about children put on diets at all?

Please, consider signing on to a large petition effort going on right now, and go support those in Australia and the US who are speaking out — at risk to their professional careers.

I am cheering on those who are getting on the bandwagon, although I’m irritated that the same alarm wasn’t ignored when F.E.A.S.T. and others spoke up about it months ago. We need to speak as one voice.

Parents are told by society, parenting experts, pediatricians, and our governments that it is our job to control and limit and fear our children’s eating. This horrid Fast Track study is only one of thousands of examples every day saying it is not only medically okay but good parenting to make all children be equally thin. Why do we only find this out when our loved one is diagnosed with an eating disorder and suddenly we should have known better?

If the eating disorders advocacy world does not stand up as a body and fight for us with medical authorities and policy-makers, how can parents know it is wrong and dangerous to put our children on diets?

Why should we only protest the extremes?

Please speak out on this “research.” But don’t stop there.


  1. wendy norcross

    This is a very destructive practice and one that my daughter was exposed to throughout her childhood, adolescence and young adult years. But the very worst was when she was in Medical School and the Obesity Prevention course faculty put all the Med Students on diets – either low fat, or low carb and then had them track their weight loss. The class members became obsessive about their diets bragging about how much weight they lost. Unfortunately there were many in that class with history of eating disorders and many relapsed after this class and never recovered. There are many in medical professions with untreated eating disorders. I think if we don’t EDucate Medical Schools and Residency Directors about how they contribute to eating disorder thinking and behaviors due to the Obesity Epidemic we won’t make much headway. Is there a way to advocate with Med School Eating Disorder Directors so they can stop this practice? I do believe that educating the Medical Profession where they train Doctors is the place to start along with those in practice.

  2. Lara Demetriades

    We need healthy happy relationships with real foods. Deprivation will not help anyone, we need to re-evaluate our healthy eating ideas!!

  3. Aleadra Dunkley

    When my daughter was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (AN) last year, I faced judgement, and furthermore, I’m still facing judgement by uninformed, unknowledgeable people that know hardly anything about eating disorders. Yet, I’m treated awful by individuals that really don’t even know my daughter and I. There is the “I should have known” treatment going on with me by others. So much knowledge and awareness is very much needed right now.

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