In western cultures eating problems ranging from severe morbid obesity to anorexia nervosa have achieved an increasing amount of media interest. Morbid obesity and obesity probably have the most impact on medical health economics, medical problems such as type II diabetes becoming increasingly common in those who are overweight. However, within our society there has also been much debate about the impact on health of very thin supermodels who are considered as role models for growing teenagers. Clearly there are many social and cultural issues which impinge on the subject of eating disorders, however, these lecture notes will be confined to those eating disorders which may present to a psychiatric clinic with a specialist interest in eating disorder.
The eating disorders range from anorexia nervosa where the body mass index [BMI = weight in kg/(Height in m)2] < 17.5 to morbid obesity with binge eating where body mass index can range from 31 to over 50. In the middle ground is bulimia nervosa where a normal body rate is maintained (BMI between 20 and 25) where the eating pattern is grossly abnormal with episodes of binge eating compensated by behaviour to prevent weight gain.
Eating disorder handout
Link to blog posts featuring eating disorders
Internal video resources
— BBC videos; Ruby Wax talks to Matthew about his experience with anorexia then looks at bulimia and chats to Michelle about her struggle with her eating and then Dr Leanne Hayward looks at undereating, including anorexia and bulimia
— Wikipedia on eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia
— Royal College of Psychiatrists leaflet on anorexia and bulimia
A series of YouTube videos from an HBO documentary about a treatment facility in Florida