In 2008 to spend 3.5 minutes on national TV discussing eating disorders without mentioning genetics, neurobiology, and the physiology of malnutrition is unconscionable. This family’s story was used to perpetuate antiquated -- and damaging -- ideas about the illness and to serve as a free advertisement for a specific treatment clinic.
Ms. Harootunian is made to look like a victim of society, her husband, and her parents. 20 years of malnutrition are considered stabilized in nine days of re-feeding -- enough to begin the psychotherapy that is the real reason for her recovery. From malnutrition to full meals appears, on TV, deceptively simple. The overall impression: that this patient needed to find her "voice" in order to recover.
Shame on ABC for creating a “news” item with content that belongs more in the 1970s than 2008.