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Why don’t we talk about bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID, OSFED, EDNOS as much as anorexia?

Eating disorder advocates, clinicians, researchers: does it concern you that so much of the attention in the media and research and the public is all about “anorexia?” Yeah, our Executive Director agrees. Why don’t we talk about bulimia, binge eating disorder, ARFID, OSFED, EDNOS as much as anorexia? This coming Thursday Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh is opening up our Facebook Live feed to the issue for our September Tough Topic Thursday.

“I have some thoughts on why that bias exists, what’s behind it, and how it can be addressed.”

We want your thoughts, your participation, your voice. Send us comments in advance, mark your calendars, and tell your friends! It’s a tough topic, but we are ready to face it!

Tough Topic Thursdays: Why Are We Always Talking About Anorexia?

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  1. Eva Musby

    Can you say where and when you’d appreciate comments? I get a bit lost in the various web places.

    For now here’s my experience:

    Years ago I became aware that I should talk about ‘eating disorders’ rather than ‘anorexia’, for the reasons you raise.

    At the same time I have been super-cautious because I know more about anorexia than about the rest of the eating disorders. I don’t feel particularly competent to write about the other eating disorders.

    I am conscious that even that previous sentence is complicated, because I’m not talking just about ‘anorexia’ but forms of OSFED that are similar to anorexia.

    Sometimes I write ‘a restricting eating disorder’ and even that’s not great as you could argue that all eating disorders, even binge-eating disorder, involve restriction.

    Another bit of personal experience:

    When I was looking for a domain name that would come up well in internet searches, I saw that there are many more searches for ‘anorexia’ than for ‘eating disorder’. I also remembered that when my daughter became ill, the word ‘eating disorder’ didn’t mean anything to me, so I wouldn’t have searched for it. So rather half-heartedly, I created a domain name for my website with the word ‘anorexia’ in it.

    Sad that I am part of the problem….

  2. Michelle

    I Really understand the dilemma. However when my daughter was first diagnosed the doctors only talked about her having an eating disorder. She refused to accept that she was really ill and that she was anorexic. In her mind an rating disorder was not a serious illness. I guess it is all about perspective. I have insisted on using the precise term and not the general term to prevent her from not taking it seriously.

  3. Brian Pollack, LCSW, CEDS

    I think sometimes we become a product of our own cultural influences which so much of the stigma of eating disorders resides. The more we call out the words, the more we educate the public and the more we create a common voice that utilizes the same core principles, change will happen

    I sometimes forget that both Binge Eating and ARFID just became “official” in the DSM-V. Finally now diagnosis, funding and research will hopefully help drive this language as well.

  4. Cecilia

    It’s so annoying. I have been trying to find groups on social media for bulimics and all tht ever comes up is “anorexia AND bulimia” or “eating disorders” “anorexia”.

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