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Sunday Smorgasbord

Posted Feb 07 2010 8:53pm
Time again for your weekly jaunt through the world of ED-related news that you may have missed. I hope you enjoy this week's selection of yummy morsels!

"Winning the War on Weight"

And so is titled a press release about a recent study out of Australiawhich looked at what obese people thought about their ability to change their behaviors. From the press release
"Severely obese individuals felt an urgent and desperate need to change their health behavioursbut felt completely powerless to do so. Most felt worried and scared about the potential health consequences of their weight. Most felt blamed and ashamed by public health and education campaigns about obesitywhich did little to actually help them address their weight," Dr Thomas said.

Dr Thomas said in contrastpeople whose weight fell within the mild to moderately obese range understood they were significantly overweight but did not believe they needed to lose weight to improve their health and wellbeing.

"Those individualswith a BMI between 30 and 40believed they could lose weight if they needed tobut did not feel this was an urgent health priority as most felt physically healthy," Dr Thomas said.

"Most of the study participants in this category deliberately sought to distance themselves from public health messages about obesity and the word obesity because of the social stigma attached to the condition. They also stigmatised those who were fatter than themselves."
The take-home point? Shaming people about their weight doesn't work! (Whoda thunk?)

Maybe we could start to win the war on weight when we sit down and just stop fighting it.

Health Tweeder

Described by @WiredScience as "a beautiful visualization of disease chatter on Twitter," Health Tweeder is definitely pretty to look at and fun to play with. It's a fantastic time-waster. I know- you can thank me later.

Historic Cookbooks1900-1910

If you're interested in what people were cooking and how they were eatingthis link is for you. All of the cookbooks are scanned and full-text.

The Skinny on Fat in Fiction

A brief but insightful overview of the use of fat characters in recent literature. Writes Beth Carswell
In realitypeople walk around in various shapes and sizesand that's just the way it is. If they're fatit's only one aspect of the things that make them up - who they areand what they are. Their size is incidentalcircumstantialnot the main focal point of them as a person. But in writing fictionthe authorplaying a God of sortshas to make decisions. It seems in describing someone's physical attributesthere is a reason to make them that wayand fat tends to carry the most connotations.
Prefrontal brain function in children with anorexia nervosa

It appears that teens with anorexia are able to perform verbal tasks as well as their unaffected peersbut they use different neural patterns to arrive at their responses. The authors conclude that "might apply fewer brain circuits or fewer neurons per circuit during cognitive tasks and might use different brain circuits in relation to their preoccupation with eating behaviors." Whether this altered neural functioning is a result of the starvation arising from anorexiaor an underlying differenceremains to be seen.

Trends in ED hospitalization in Poland2003-2007

From the abstract (it's the only part of the article in English!)
Despite the increase in eating disorders prevalence rates in young people in the worldthe systematic decrease of hospitalization of patients with eating disorders in Poland was observed. The decrease of patients' age was also noticed. Females were hospitalized much more often than maleswhat was observed in previous study.
It would be interesting to see whether this is due to a decrease in the actual number of eating disordersa decrease in diagnosisor an improvement of outpatient treatments. The abstract didn't indicate trends in EDs outside of hospitalizationwhich would probably shed some light on this trend.
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