Thanks very much to Alison Stewart, host of All of It, for honoring Mental Health Awareness month and bringing attention to Eating Disorders.
Dr. Evelyn Attia, MD (Director of the Eating Disorders Clinic) and I (Joanna Steinglass, MD, Director of Research) were guests on the show to provide information about eating disorders’ causes, characteristics, and care. We discussed how changes in the social fabric associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to the development of eating disorders among those who are biologically vulnerable. We also spoke about advances in the understanding of the neuroscience of eating disorders. Dr. Attia and I highlighted the value of seeking treatment for eating disorders, joined by listeners who called in to share their experiences.
Listen to the episode, “Examining the Rising Rates in Eating Disorders,” here:
Key observations included:
- Eating disorders are treatable illnesses. Psychotherapies, cognitive behavior therapy and others, make a real difference.
- There have been many advances in the neuroscience of eating disorders over the past decade. Research at the Columbia Center for Eating Disorders has identified differences in brain activity patterns between individuals with anorexia nervosa and healthy volunteers when making decisions about what to eat.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were increases in numbers of patients seeking treatment for an eating disorder at hospitals and other treatment centers, all around the world.
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