“Eating disorders: bulimia and anorexia – I also have some thoughts*”

Vol. 1,  No. 36, February 27, 2011

TITLE: “Eating disorders: bulimia and anorexia – I also have some thoughts*”

My book of the week is “Thin” [Hardcover] by Lauren Greenfield (Author), Joan Jacobs Brumberg (Introduction). My topic is therefore eating disorders: bulimia and anorexia.


For today, my word/phrase(s) are:””, “bulimia nervosa”, anorexia, etc

Bulimia nervosa (bulimia)
“Bulimia nervosa (bulimia) is a disease and a type of eating disorder. It is when a person wants to starve his or her self. People who have it feel that they are fat and want to be skinny. When they are hungry, they eat a lot of food. Then, they try to take it back by vomiting, exercising, or using drugs.

The person with bulimia eats large amounts of food. Then, they want to get rid of it. To do this, they vomit or use drugs. They do this at least two times a week or more often. The person always thinks about how his or her body looks, and he or she wants to be skinny. The person may also have anorexia nervosa. However, some people with bulimia have a normal weight or are overweight, which makes it difficult to know when someone has bulimia.

Bulimia nervosa can cause many health problems. Because vomit has a lot of acid in it, doing it a lot can burn the person’s mouth, throat, or teeth. Someone can lose nutrients or fluids in his or her body. Glands in one’s throat and face may get bigger and hurt. The immune system is weakened, and a person can get muscle or heart problems.

People who get bulimia
Most people who get bulimia are ages 10 to 25. Usually girls have bulimia, but boys can have it too. People who had bad things happen to them are more likely to get the disease too. People with obsessive compulsive disorder or perfectionism are also more likely to have bulimia.[1] People can also get bulima if, they have been through physiological trauma.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by restraining of food intake for a period of time followed by an over intake or binging period that results in feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. The median age of onset is 18. Sufferers attempt to overcome these feelings through a number of ways.[1] The most common form is defensive vomiting, sometimes called purging; fasting, the use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and over exercising are also common.[2] Bulimia nervosa is nine times more likely to occur in women than men (Barker 2003). Antidepressants, especially SSRIs are widely used in the treatment of bulimia nervosa. (Newell and Gournay 2000).”

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


Eating conditions


Bonus fact #1 Origin of name
“[3] Bulimia nervosa was named and first described by the British psychiatrist Gerald Russell in 1979.[4][5]

Bonus fact #2 : Real people sufferers
Actress Candace Cameron, who is famous for her role of DJ Tanner on the hit television series of 1990s “Full House”, revealed for the first time her battle with Bulimia when she was younger….
Britain’s former deputy prime minister John Prescott, who was known for his tough guy image, said on Sunday that he has secretly struggled with the eating disorder bulimia for decades.   Prescott wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper that he used to gorge on vast amounts of food and then force himself to vomit.
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: How we see our bodies impacts how we live our lives by Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter

“(NC)—More than seven out of ten girls avoid certain activities, such as giving an opinion or going to school when they feel bad about their bodies, according to academic research by the Dove Self Esteem Fund. Negative body image also means both girls and boys are less likely to engage in physical activity. Life-long health-giving habits such as proper nutrition and exercise are laid down in childhood and are affected by an individual’s body image.

“It makes me really shy about doing things with my friends,” says sixteen-year-old Shayla Timms about her body. “I’m always trying to hide my shape, which ends up with me wanting to hide myself”.

“We need our girls – and boys – to feel confident in themselves so that they can be fully engaged in their communities, socially, academically, economically; we need them to feel good about themselves and their bodies so that they can make healthy choices in their lives” says Merryl Bear, director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC).

Despite some good beginnings to support more diverse body shapes and sizes by designers such as Canadian Mark Fast, and magazines such as Marie Claire providing some diversity, the overwhelming media messaging is that thin-is-in.

“Combined with the war on fat, messaging that thinness is the passport to success leads to food and weight preoccupation, and our youth are particularly vulnerable to this” comments Bear. Fortunately for most parents, the evidence is clear that some simple steps, many of which are found on NEDIC’s website at www.nedic.ca, can help to protect their child’s emotional and physical well-being.

Having dinner together regularly as a family is shown to be effective in increasing children and youth’s emotional resilience. Learning to trust and take measured risks with one’s body through physical activity helps children to develop self-confidence as well as a healthy body. And, as Bear suggests, it is never too late to develop a better body image and self-confidence.”
www.newscanada.com “News Canada” <article@newscanada.com

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2:Eating disorders are rising among men by Jean Gottlieb, Health Reporter
(NC)—”Eating disorders are still often thought of as a female problem, or one sometimes affecting gay males. However, an increasing number of eating disorders are being seen in males and minority populations, according to a recent report by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same report shows that 5 – 10% of all individuals with an eating disorder are male.

“These are significant numbers of boys and men needing help,” says Merryl Bear, director of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), www.nedic.ca, “Whether you are female or male, there’s little difference in your degree of unhappiness, pain or danger to health.”

Both males and females with eating disorders suffer similar rates of anxiety, depression, phobias, panic disorder, and substance dependence.

Despite this, men, whose treatment needs are similar to those of women, have difficulty in getting help. This may be related to shame and secrecy about their illness, and because doctors are less likely to identify an eating disorder in males.

“I ended up using food as a form of control to forget about the negativity that was happening and the stress/pressure … Had I gone to the hospital a day later, I may not have been here today,” says Pete Czerwinski about his struggle with anorexia, some of which is documented in the film Furious Pete.

“The good thing is that we are increasingly seeing media stories about the struggles of boys and men with food, weight and shape issues. This helps to make it easier for them – or family members – to reach out to NEDIC and other places for help,” notes Bear “No-one needs to suffer alone.” Increasingly, she says, there are more gender sensitive services available to males across the country.”

www.newscanada.com “News Canada” <article@newscanada.com

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #3:  Profile America — Monday, March 28th.

“This month has been set aside to recognize a number of various causes. Two of these seem to go hand in hand — National Nutrition Month and National Frozen Food Month. The goal of the first is make consumers aware of just how easy it is to eat healthy meals. And one of the ways this is possible is because of frozen food. The first commercially available frozen food was packaged fish in 1925. Frozen food became increasingly popular after World War II, as refrigerated trains and trucks were able to carry it to all parts of the nation. Now, every refrigerator has a fairly ample freezer. And, the complimentary appliance — a microwave oven — is in more than nine-out-of-10 homes. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.
Sources: Chase’s Calendar of Events 2011, p. 151
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2008, t. 951


Being a mother of daughters, I was interested in this topic. I aimed to learn about it.   

While I don’t have a direct experience with these disorders, I have lived life and I have watched young poeople. One powerful image does come to mind. One day, walking down the hallway at work, I noticed a young lady at the water fountain. I was stunned. She looked like a skeleton. She was just skin and bones. It is possible that she could have been just very skinny; I doubt that. I am convinced that she was a sufferer of anorexia.   I was saddened by what I saw.

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #1* Calista Flockhart

“Flockhart, noted for her slender figure, often battled rumors that she was suffering from anorexia and bulimia. When Flockhart collapsed on the set of “Ally McBeal” on December 13th, 2000, it was announced that she was merely suffering from dehydration and exhaustion. While her publicist attributed the collapse to Robert Downey Jr’s presence on the “Ally” set, according to the World Entertainment News Network news service, Calista’s home life was under strain for another reason: “Her dog, Webster, doesn’t like her boyfriend, Garry Shandling.”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com)

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #2* Diamond Jim Brady: Porker

“Mutlimillionaire railroad tycoon ‘Diamond Jim’ Brady was at least as well known for its gargantuan appetite as he was for his fiscal successes. A typical day’s menu began at breakfast, with hominy, eggs, corn bread, muffins, griddle cakes, chops, fried potatoes, a beefsteak, and a gallon of orange juice. Next came a late morning snack of two or three dozen clams and oysters, followed at 12:30 p.m. by lunch (clams, oysters, boiled lobsters, deviled crabs, a joint of beef, and a variety of pies). At afternoon tea, Jim would sit down to a heaping dish of seafood and copious drafts of lemon soda. “Dinner, of course, was the major meal of the day, and Jim often supped at Rector’s, a posh New York restaurant. the meal included two or three dozen Lynnhaven oysters, six crabs, several bowls of green turtle soup, sex or seven lobsters, a pair of canvasback ducks, a double serving of terrapin, a sirloin steak, vegetables, and much orange juice. Generally, Jim would top off the meal with a piled-high platter of cakes and pies and a 2-lb. box of candy.”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com)

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #3* Gilda Radner: Bulimia

“Gilda [Radner] told me,” Elliott Gould once recalled, “that when she couldn’t sleep, she would order food at about two or three in the morning, and she was so bulimic she would order enough for six or seven people, even though it was just her alone. And then when the delivery guy came and rang the bell, she would say [calling out], ‘The food’s here! The food’s here!'”
(Source: www.anecdotage.com)

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE #4* Jane Fonda: Pill-Popper

Jane Fonda was once arrested after allegedly kicking a police officer. Although she had been found carrying an immense quantity of pills, all charges were later dropped. Why? The “pills” were later identified as vitamins!
(Source: www.anecdotage.com)

THE AUTHOR: Lauren Greenfield

Lauren Greenfield is a photo artist/journalist. She is also a filmmaker. Her overall subject of choice is young people and culture. A major theme is female identity, perception of body and eating disorders. She also has authored books.
(Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia)


Her films include:

  • “Fashion Show” (2010) multimedia with photo, video and audio
  • “Foreclosure: Death of the American Dream” (2009) – multimedia with photo, video and audio
  • “Ben Gals” (2008) – multimedia with photo and audio
  • “Teen Spa” (2007) – multimedia with photo and audio
  • “Jackie Warner” (2007) – multimedia with photo, video and audi
  • “Teen Lipo” (2006) – multimedia with photo and audio

Her books include:

  • THIN (Chronicle Books, 2006)
  • Girl Culture (Chronicle Books, 2002)
  • Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood (Hard cover Knopf, 1997; soft cover Chronicle Books 2002)

THE BOOK: “Thin” [Hardcover] by Lauren Greenfield (Author), Joan Jacobs Brumberg

She is an artist – her passion is improving the female experience particularly that of adolescents. For girls, perception replaces reality. The female body offered by films and TV is the impossible dream. Regardless, it drives girls to chase it. Eating disorders are the result. Some of the afllicted go the eat and purge route (bulimia); others opt for not eating (anorexia). Greenfield’s art is visual; she shines light on this problem. Along with the pictures, are personal stories of suffering girls and women. This is combined with essays of experts in the field. This combo package book delivers up information. We understand more. We know more. It helps. Check it out!


Eating disorders are destrucive of good health. These includes bulimia and anorexia. 

Eating disorders have been serious problems of teenage girls and young adult women. First, it comes from the mistaken belief that beauty is skin deep superficial. Second, the fashion world presents a false image of beauty. The body is not natural; instead, models and stars have much plastic surgery done. They then add expensive clothing and professional make-up sessions and voila you have a pretty picture – not of the real world. Also, such is photo-shopped. And further, the desirable woman is portrayed as one who is as thin as possible. (N.B. It is a known fact that many models are borderline starving to remain at their lowest weight.) Feed all of this to impressionable females; and they are thus on track with highly unrealistic goals.

These disorders are tragic. It is unfortunate how critical a young girl/woman could be about her looks. She looks in the mirror and sees only the flaws and not the beauty that reflects back.  It’s so sad … she doesn’t know her actual worth.   

There are other factors in eating disorders. For example, a person with a compulsive personality or controlling behavior will usually be a candidate for these disorders. Self- discipline is a very important quality, but sufferers go overboard. With this characteristic, one can control oneself to do things to the extreme. This is greatly destructive.   As well, people with this illness usually have depression issues.  

Eating disorders are also a growing problem of men, particularly those intensely committed to weight and cardio training, body building, elite athlete regimens, etc. Such are also prevalent in the gay community.        

My personal comments

I want to look my best. While I’m fortunate that I don’t have a weight problem; if the truth be known, there are certain areas of my body with which I am dissatisfied. But through the years, I have learned to accept my body type (shape and size) . 

I exercise and eat healthy. There are certain styles of clothing that are not flattering to my body type, hence I do not wear them.  So you see, by example, I encourage finding a better more positive way to deal with self-image. 

Furthermore, I belive that true beauty is the whole person incluisve of the inner soul.

The point

I know that there are many who want to change the stance of the beauty industry and the message being currently publicized, for the consumption of young girls and women. I wish them well and hope that they achieve their goal of change.  
However, I have another recommendation. I propose that government health departments launch an advertising campaign, (similar to that for the stoppage of drug use), showing the results of carrying on the bulimic or anorexic behavior. A TV ad that comes to mind is the one where eggs are fried in a frypan and the voice over says that this is is the result of drug use.  I also propose labels on wearing apparel destined for young women to contain images, like on cigarette packs, showing the effects of these disorders, like intestinal malfunction, rotten teeth from regurgitated stomach acids, etc.   


If a parent of a teenager,

1. Compliment him/her about looks, how he/she is dressed;
2. Suggest in a positive way, what you think might is not be suitable and at the same time, what is complimentary to their body type-shape; 
3. Pay attention to his/her eating habits; in this regard,
4. Seek help immediately: (a) If you notice anything not right with their meals and digestion;

if  a sufferer
5. Tell someone who you can trust about your secret;
6. Seek out professional help;

Let us help these young people. Please do what you can. I am counting on you.

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 27th, 2011 at 10:18 pm and is filed under Women's Issues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


One Response to ““Eating disorders: bulimia and anorexia – I also have some thoughts*””

  1. ebooks Says:

    Great post. Keep up the good work – you have a new subsriber! – (The Confidence Guy)