Health Conditions / Mental Health / Eating Disorders

Almond Mom: Did You Grow Up With Almond Mom?

Almond Mom: Did You Grow Up With Almond Mom?

Warning: This article includes discussion of eating disorders, diet culture, and weight stigma. If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact NEDA.Did you grow up with an almond mom? It’s a question many women and girls asked themselves earlier this week, after clips of Yolanda Hadid—mother of Gigi and Bella Hadid—went viral on social media. In the videos compiled from Hadid’s stint on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Yolanda calls Gigi’s body “big and bulky” and complains she “eats like men.” During an episode on Gigi’s birthday, she tells her then teenage daughter she can only “have one night of being bad” then has to “get back on her diet,” before allowing her a single bite of cake. The most troubling of all, however, is a scene in which Gigi calls her mother complaining that she feels “really weak” after only eating “like half an almond” that day. Yolanda’s response? “Have a couple of almonds, and chew them really well.”Despite Hadid’s viral comments, the almond mom is not a novel concept—and definitely not limited to stage moms. I know because I hail from a generation of women whose daily lives revolve around how little they’ve eaten and how much weight they’ve subsequently lost. Almond moms are obsessed with dieting, but don’t openly acknowledge it, justifying their restricted calories for the sake of being “healthy.”What matters most to an almond mom is getting and staying thin, so much that it inevitably overshadows accomplishments, accolades, and milestones—unless, of course, you look skinny while celebrating. To ensure that stays the case, they tend to sustain themselves on single-digit quantities of almonds—though they occasionally dabble in green juice, 100-calorie snack packs, and nonfat yogurt—and struggle to comprehend why their daughters don’t do the same.TikTok has proved the experience is alarmingly universal: If you search “almond moms” on the app, you’ll find content created around the topic long before the Yolanda clips resurfaced. At the time of writing, the phrase has amassed 600 million views.In the videos, teens and 20-somethings parody their “half-an-almond-a-day moms” who refuse to eat during scenarios like trick-or-treating or at the Hershey store. Others highlight the triggering toxic mantras by which their almond moms live, including “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips” and “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” reciting them with cheerful fervor.Hadid seemingly replied to the criticism with a TikTok captioned #worstmomever in which she does various activities like walking, reading, and playing with baby goats—all while toting a large bowl of almonds.TikTok contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.TikTok contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.TikTok contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Underneath the humor, however, lies something more sinister: the undeniable fact that even in 2022, during a newfound wave of body positivity, the almond mom mentality is alive and well. But even worse is how much these harmful dieting fads impact women, regardless of whether or not their mothers realize it.“Children follow more of what we do than what we say, which is why not addressing dieting and/or limiting caloric intake, but still being obsessive about it while in the presence of your kids, can have even more of an impact on children than parents are aware of,” Kiana Shelton, LCSW and women’s health expert at Mindpath Health, told Glamour. So even if your almond mom doesn’t or didn’t actively address your eating habits, her problematic habits can still have dire consequences. 

5 Ways to Actually Take Care of Your Mental Health in College

5 Ways to Actually Take Care of Your Mental Health in College

If you’re short on time, consider joining an intramural team, club sport, or group fitness class on campus. “This will give you an opportunity to connect with people and get regular exercise,” explains Dr. Adams. Think of it as a two-for-one deal for your mental and physical health. You may even want to look into exercise classes that will earn you credits. For example, Boston University offers everything from beginner weight lifting to marathon training so students can fit workouts into their class schedules.3. Don’t be tempted to pull all-nighters.This is admittedly easier said than done, especially during busy times like finals week. But when it comes to nurturing your mental health, prioritizing sleep is critical. “Our brains need sleep to learn, process emotions, make sense of difficult experiences, and interpret subtle signs from other people about how they’re feeling, which is important for relationships,” explains Dr. Adams. Ideally, you should try to aim for a minimum of seven hours of solid shuteye per night (we know, a tall order!)Dr. Adams recommends building your schedule around sleep, balanced eating, and classes first. “Other healthy activities can be tucked in around academic work and other obligations,” she adds. That means doing your best to plan ahead for big exams and papers, not waiting until the last minute to cram overnight.If you have roommates, Dr. Adams suggests having a chat about everyone’s schedules and establishing ground rules that protect late-night hours in your home. (For example, no loud music after 10 p.m.) While you’re at it, consider picking up some earplugs, wearing a sleep mask if needed, or listening to some form of white noise to help you get a good night’s sleep on the regular, says Dr. Adams.4. Find a self-care habit that you love.Self-care looks different for everyone, so there’s no right or wrong way to practice it. In fact, the strategies on this list—like exercise and getting enough sleep—totally count as forms of self-care. Other calming habits like journaling, meditating, crafting, reading, or even enjoying face masks with your roommates during a movie night can qualify as taking care of yourself.Regardless of how you choose to engage in self-care, know that it doesn’t need to be a picture-perfect practice. Start by slowly weaving a habit into your routine (say, about 10 minutes a day or 30 minutes a week), then note how you feel and decide if you want to adjust the time you spend on those activities.Even then, this will likely ebb and flow throughout the year, and that’s okay. “It’s important to be gentle with yourself,” says Dr. Adams. “If you miss your workout or meditation time today, you can pick it up tomorrow. Be intentional, experiment, and find what works for you.”5. Know that it’s okay to reach out for support.A major college perk is that you have all kinds of mental health resources at your fingertips. But knowing that these services are available to you and actually reaching out for help are two different things. Sometimes, it can be hard to see or admit to yourself that you’re actually grappling with a really tough problem. There are a number of ways that mental health issues can crop up for college students, including homesickness, peer pressure, and financial stressors, as well as traumatic events like sexual assault or potentially life-threatening mental health crises like eating disorders or suicidal thoughts, says Dr. Weller.

How to Maintain a Healthy Body Image in College

How to Maintain a Healthy Body Image in College

As a dietitian who works primarily with people who have eating disorders, I have a front-row seat to the body image struggles many young adults face in their college years. This period is a time when you’re developing your self-identity, which often means looking to your peers for validation. And college also marks the transition between childhood and adulthood, which brings a lot of mental, physical, and emotional changes.All of this plays into how you think and feel about your body, aka your body image. “The definition of body image is complex and multifactorial,” Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH, a psychiatrist and the associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells SELF. “In the simplest of terms, it’s how you see yourself.” But body image isn’t just what you see in the mirror, Dr. Booth Watkins adds. It also encompasses how you feel about your appearance and the image you have of yourself in your head, which may or may not line up with what other people see when they look at you.It isn’t set in stone, either. Even if your body image was pretty solid in high school, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenged in college. “Body image is dynamic and is tremendously impacted by family, environment, peers, and media,” Alyssa Goldenberg, LMSW, a therapist at The Dorm, a mental health treatment center for young adults, tells SELF. “College can be such a volatile and difficult time for body image as impressionable young adults are learning to navigate the world independently,” Goldenberg says.Below, I consulted experts and dug into body-image research to identify some of the main reasons why your relationship with your body might be extra challenging while you’re in college—and what you can do to feel better about yourself.Know that your body will probably change during college.There are so many factors that go into someone’s body shape and size. It’s hard to generalize what rate of growth and weight gain is “normal” but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) developmental growth charts show that most people continue to gain weight until age 20 (and perhaps beyond, but this is where the growth charts end), even though height tends to taper off in your late teens.Adjusting to a totally new food and movement routine—eating at a cafeteria instead of at home, going out more often (and maybe drinking alcohol), no longer participating in high school sports (if that was your thing), and having access to a gym for perhaps the first time—can also lead to changes in body shape and size. A meta-analysis published in 2015 in the journal BMC Obesity found that about two-thirds of college freshmen gain weight over the course of the year, and that the average increase (excluding students whose weight didn’t change) is about 7.5 pounds.These weight changes can add to the body image distress that you might already be feeling, particularly because we live in a culture that sees thinness as “ideal” and fatness as bad. But knowing that isn’t really true—and that college weight gain is totally normal—can help you be kinder to yourself and your body as you evolve throughout your time on campus.Work toward body neutrality and acceptance.Feeling great about your body when you’re also trying to stay on top of school and your social life might seem like a tall order, but that’s not necessarily the case. “A healthy body image involves having an objective perception of your appearance and an ability to separate your value as a person from the way you look,” Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RDN, an eating disorder dietitian based in Lebanon, New Hampshire and the co-author of Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders, tells SELF. In other words, the goal isn’t necessarily to love how your body looks.

PSA: Don’t Sleep on the Campus Health Center When You’re in College

PSA: Don’t Sleep on the Campus Health Center When You’re in College

There’s a lot to love about college: sudden independence, late nights with new people who turn into lifelong friends, and endless opportunities to learn and grow. It can also keep you super busy—a packed schedule probably means that checking out various campus services is the last thing on your mind. But if there’s one service you use, make it your student health center.Not only will it put your health into your own hands (which may be a new thing for you), but it will help you stay on your A-game all throughout college. And if this is the first time you’ve had access to a one-stop shop for all your health needs, you may not even know everything that is available to you. In fact, when the SELF team discussed their biggest health-related college regrets, an overwhelming number of people said they wish they’d taken advantage of their campus health center.So here’s a rundown of the most important services that your student health center has to offer and why you should definitely check them out.1. You’re already paying for these health services.Here’s the thing: The cost of college includes tuition, room and board, and various student fees. Those fees generally include student health services, which means you might already be paying to access those resources. So why not make the most of it?For example, the health fee is mandatory for all students at UNC-Chapel Hill, whether or not they actually visit the health center, Ken Pittman, MHA, FACHE, executive director of campus health services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tells SELF. (Though 78% of students do utilize the university’s health services at least once a year, he notes). Basic services such as primary care visits, gynecology checkups, urgent care, and mental health counseling are covered under that fee, he says—so they won’t be billed to health insurance at all.As for services not covered by the student health fee? These vary at each school, but can include lab tests, like rapid flu testing, X-rays, and some procedures (for example, some campus health centers do IUD insertions and others don’t), says Pittman. These services are billed to the student’s personal health insurance, which may be required at some institutions.Remember, you can stay on your parents’ health insurance plan until you turn 26 years old, per Healthcare.gov, so you might have coverage that way. Many colleges and universities even offer students medical insurance plans, which may be another option for you. To learn more about your school’s specific health care requirements, chat with the folks at your campus health center.2. It makes it easy to schedule regular checkups.When you’ve got papers to write and classes to attend, getting annual checkups can feel like a drag. Besides, if you feel fine (save for the occasional sleepless night), do you really need routine checkups?TBH, yes. Regular checkups are a form of preventive care, which can help you identify or avoid health issues before they become bigger problems that require treatment. This involves services like routine blood tests, mental health screenings, and physical examinations, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Yes, your childhood primary care doctor, if you have one, can perform these services—but thanks to your student health center, you won’t need to wait until you’re back home to book an appointment.

Why ‘Bad’ Photos Make You Feel Like Crap—and How to Care Less

Why ‘Bad’ Photos Make You Feel Like Crap—and How to Care Less

Whatever positive things your body does for you, taking a minute to appreciate it, Dr. Craddock says, can help you remember that it’s so much more than what it looks like—or, rather, what you think it looks like to other people. Research also suggests that practicing gratitude may lessen body dissatisfaction, with one 2018 study in the journal Body Image showing that body-focused gratitude exercises can reduce internalized weight bias and improve body image.Remember that nobody cares all that much—and that’s a good thing.When a photo causes you to obsess about how you appear to others, it can be helpful to remember that famous truism often attributed to writer Olin Miller: You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. “It’s important to keep in mind that most of the time, these photos won’t even be looked at more than a few times or for a few seconds, if they’re even looked at at all,” says Seegmiller. “Others aren’t nearly as interested in our appearance as we are, nor are they criticizing our appearance as harshly as we criticize ourselves.”Try putting yourself in their shoes, Seegmiller suggests: Do you pick apart photos of the people you care about, or even strangers, and obsess about them for days? In most cases, I’m guessing the answer is no. And even if you do, that’s likely about your own insecurities and not about that person’s perceived flaws, Seegmiller adds.Try to find the good in the photo.In the moment that I saw the distressing dinner party candid, I wouldn’t have been able to name a single thing I liked about it; all I saw were my “flaws.” But when I looked again, while writing this article, I could see other things: the amazing-looking food laid out on the counter; two dear friends laughing together in the background; my daughter, delirious with happiness, tugging at another friend’s shirt. My body was far from the most important or interesting thing in the photo.To help with seeing the, um, full picture, Seegmiller recommends identifying three things that you like about the photo in question, and then another three things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with appearance. That’s what I did, and I can attest that it helped me put things in perspective (how my legs look isn’t that important!) and remember the things that make me feel good about myself (I’m a great cook, a fun mom, and a great friend!).Be compassionate with yourself—feeling horrible about a photo makes sense.If you think of yourself as having “good” body image, you might feel shame about reacting negatively to a photo—it’s so trivial, right? But the fact is, appearance pressures are virtually inescapable today, and it’s only human for you to feel their effects, no matter the state of your body image.“This isn’t a problem that’s unique to you or your body—it’s a societal one,” says Dr. Craddock. “Having a negative reaction to a photo of yourself could simply serve as a reminder that societal pressures to look a certain way are really potent. It’s also worth remembering that not liking a photo doesn’t detract from any healing you’ve already done to improve your relationship with your body—and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad person.”I always feel a little knot of dread in my stomach before looking at a photo of myself (Will what I see ruin my day?), and that may always be the case. But I now know that I can learn to change my reaction once I see a photo, and that this shift in mindset just might be what allows me to create beautiful, real memories—not just photographic ones—in the moment. As Seegmiller says, “We are complex, introspective, and deep human beings having a human experience. A photo can’t, won’t, and doesn’t capture that.”If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, you can find support and resources from the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA).Related:

How to Find Support If Social Media Is Hurting Your Mental Health

How to Find Support If Social Media Is Hurting Your Mental Health

In your consultation or first session, try asking your therapist something like, “Do you use a different approach when working with people who experience depression connected to social media?” If their response doesn’t align with your values—say, they suggest cutting out all social media and that’s not what you want—then the therapist likely isn’t a great match for your needs.Self-care tip: Perform a digital declutter. You can curate intentional feeds, which Dr. Dave helps people do during therapy sessions. She recommends setting a five-minute timer for each social media account you’d like to address. Then, browse mindfully: Pause as you scroll to each post and pay attention to how it makes you feel. What emotions bubble to the surface? How does your body respond? “You have to Marie Kondo your feeds,” Dr. Horrell says. In other words, unfollow or mute accounts or online groups that don’t spark joy. When content that drives negative self-talk returns to your feeds, it’s likely time to do another declutter.If social media is triggering negative feelings about your body:“Practices that help you say, ‘I’m going to try to be in the present moment, in my body, and in a way that is nonjudgemental,’ can be incredibly helpful in having a kind and accurate experience of yourself in your body,” Dr. Horrell says. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which focuses on finding a balance between accepting yourself and your thoughts while acknowledging that you want to change4, can help with that. Developing coping skills like mindfulness is a large component of DBT, and this method is often used to treat eating disorders.Talking to a therapist who deeply understands the psychology behind eating disorders can be valuable for anyone questioning their sense of self, regardless of their eating habits, according to Dr. Horrell. “I know a lot of people will think, But I don’t have an eating disorder, and that is very likely true,” Dr. Horrell says. But therapists who treat eating disorders will have experience and training in navigating body image concerns, which can apply to many situations in which you feel unkind about your appearance.Self-care tip: Reject your algorithm. If you notice that watching restrictive food diary videos makes you feel guilty about your eating habits, for example, hit Not Interested the next time one appears on your feed. Over time, you can try to tailor your algorithm so it surfaces less of the content that does not serve you. Similarly, following accounts and joining Facebook groups that celebrate body positivity can help support your values and provide regular doses of positive reinforcement, Dr. Horrell says.If social media is triggering negative feelings about your identity:Social media is an incredible tool when it comes to raising awareness about important issues, like the war in Ukraine or injustice against marginalized communities. But these types of topics can feel very heavy and trigger a lot of difficult emotions—particularly if you regularly see individuals you identify with being harmed, demeaned, or discredited, Dr. Horrell says. “It’s so easy to imagine yourself or a loved one in that position,” she says.

Sophie Turner Had Her Therapist Move In to Help Her Heal From an Eating Disorder

Sophie Turner Had Her Therapist Move In to Help Her Heal From an Eating Disorder

Sophie Turner, 26, opened up about her struggle with an eating disorder in a new interview with Elle UK. The actor told the outlet her therapist moved into her home to help her heal. “For a long time, I was quite sick with an eating disorder, and I had a companion…. It’s a live-in therapist, who would ensure I wasn’t doing anything unhealthy with my eating habits,” she said.Turner, who is currently expecting her second child with husband Joe Jonas, said being a public figure played a role in the development of her negative self-image, calling out social media specifically as harmful to her mental health. “I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I wish I’d never got myself involved with it in the first place,” Turner said. She added that her eating disorder was fueled by hurtful comments made online. “I look at the comments on Instagram and think, ‘Everyone thinks this about me.’ One night, I was playing over and over in my mind a comment I’d seen on Instagram. I was like, ‘I’m so fat, I’m so undesirable,’ and spinning out.”This is where her live-in therapist came in helpful: “She said to me, ‘You know, no one actually cares. I know you think this, but nobody else is thinking it. You’re not that important,’” Turner said. “That was the best thing anyone could have told me.”Although 24/7 access to therapy is likely inaccessible for many, there are many other ways to get help for an eating disorder. The first line of defense could be psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). This could mean individual, group, or family therapy. Health care providers sometimes also recommend nutrition counseling to help people reach—and then maintain—a healthy weight. Antidepressants or mood stabilizers may also be recommended, per the NLM, as could treatment plans for health complications caused by eating disorders. Turner said she now attends a weekly individual therapy session. “I still have to do it every week…I still have days when I feel depressed or anxious.”She said social media has impacted her mental health in addition to contributing to her eating disorder. “I have noticed that social media makes me incredibly anxious, and it’s something I try to distance myself from,” Turner, who has nearly 15 million Instagram followers, explained. Turner said deleting social media apps from her phone has helped: “Having it off my phone has been so helpful. Now, if I do have to go on it, it’s for a few minutes once or twice a week, rather than hours every day. It’s made such a difference.”If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, you can find support and resources from the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA). If you are in a crisis, you can text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line for immediate support. Related:

When Does Overeating Cross the Line Into Binge Eating Disorder?

When Does Overeating Cross the Line Into Binge Eating Disorder?

People with binge eating disorder do not use “compensatory behaviors,” meaning they don’t purge, use laxatives, fast, or over-exercise to try and rid themselves of the calories they’ve eaten (unlike people with anorexia or bulimia who do engage in these behaviors). While this might seem counterintuitive, people with binge eating disorder often do go through periods of food restriction and fad dieting, however. It’s just that after a binge eating episode, they do not try to directly “make up” for the calories they’ve consumed with those other behaviors.Back to topWhat are physical binge eating disorder symptoms?During a binge episode, you might not notice anything other than the drive to keep eating. But afterward, a host of physical symptoms may begin. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients,2 these can include:If the eating pattern continues, you might notice that your body’s “hunger” and “fullness” signals change, too. If you are less sensitive to those signals, it can affect your ability to stop eating during a binge episode.It’s important to know that even though weight gain is a symptom, not everyone with binge eating disorder is overweight and most people diagnosed with obesity don’t have binge eating disorder—BED can develop at any weight. Since people with BED often take great pains to hide their eating behaviors, you may not even know if a friend or loved one is struggling with this.3Back to topWhat are emotional binge eating disorder symptoms?During a binge eating episode, the main thing you feel is out of control. You might feel embarrassed or afraid to eat around other people. You might feel scared to eat certain kinds of food that are viewed as “unhealthy”, like carbs or sugar, even though they are perfectly OK to enjoy, according to the NEDA.When you have binge eating disorder, you’re also likely to be awash in feelings like anxiety, shame, guilt, disgust, and even anger. In fact, a 2020 study published in the journal Psychiatria Danubina found that behaving anxiously as a response to anger was found to be a predictor for disordered eating—including binge eating—in people with depression.4All of these feelings are part of the human experience. Everyone has them. But if you have an eating disorder, they can drive a destructive cycle. Negative emotions like anxiety and anger can trigger binge eating. Binge eating episodes then fuel more negative feelings. They may even leave you with the feeling that you hate yourself.If you have a mood disorder such as depression or anxiety, BED may be even harder on you emotionally. A 2016 study published in Obesity Research and Clinical Practice shows that roughly 20% of those with mood disorders have trouble with binge eating. And people with binge eating disorder experience more severe anxiety than others.5

‘Yellowjackets’ Star Melanie Lynskey Opens Up About Body Shaming on Set and From Fans

‘Yellowjackets’ Star Melanie Lynskey Opens Up About Body Shaming on Set and From Fans

When “Yellowjackets” (a series about a high-school-girls soccer team forced to survive in the wilderness after a plane crash) premiered, it set the internet atwitter with comparisons to Lord of the Flies and freaked out ruminations about what you might do in the same dire straits. It also unleashed a wave of body shaming for actor Melanie Lynskey. Lynskey, who plays Shauna, responded to a tweet by writer and body image activist Ashley C. Ford about the body shaming she’d experienced from fans of the show since Yellowjackets aired. “Most egregious are the ‘I care about her health!!’ people,” she wrote. “Bitch you don’t see me on my Peloton! You don’t see me running through the park with my child. Skinny does not always equal healthy.”Twitter contentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.This isn’t the first time Lynskey has experienced body shaming in connection with the show. Earlier this month, she shared in an interview with Rolling Stone that she also experienced body shaming on set when a member of the production team reportedly implied she needed to lose weight for the role. “They were asking me, ‘What do you plan to do? I’m sure the producers will get you a trainer. They’d love to help you with this,’” she said, per People. Lynskey deliberately wanted to protect her character from that mindset, she said. “I did find it important that this character is just comfortable and sexual and not thinking or talking about it, because I want women to be able to to watch it and be like, ‘Wow, she looks like me and nobody’s saying she’s the fat one,’” she told Rolling Stone. “That representation is important.”On set, Lynskey’s costars Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, and Juliette Lewis came to her defense, and Lewis reportedly wrote a letter to the producers, per People.  Lynskey has spoken in the past about her struggle with body image. “I was very unwell for a long time,” she told People in 2016. “I had eating issues and at a certain point I was like, ‘I’m not going to survive’—not like I was on death’s door or anything, but I was so unhappy and my hair was falling out.” Ultimately, she worked on addressing the pressure to conform to unrealistic ideals and believe that people would hire her just the way she was: “I did have to truly become comfortable with myself, because you can’t fake it.”Related: 

Tess Holliday on Her Anorexia Recovery: 'People Said I Was Lying'

Tess Holliday on Her Anorexia Recovery: 'People Said I Was Lying'

Content note: This story discusses details of disordered eating.Nearly a year after being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, Tess Holliday is sharing the challenges of recovery—a process that is often nonlinear—in a new essay for TODAY. “I feel grateful that I’m tough enough to talk about this, but I’ve since taken a lot of steps backwards in my recovery. I’ve regressed. I haven’t eaten today,” the model wrote. “It’s 11 o’clock and I’ve had two sips of coffee, and I feel sick. This has been extremely hard on my mental and physical health.”Holliday first shared her eating disorder diagnosis in May 2021. “People said I was lying,” Holliday wrote in her essay. “There are people who believe I was saying this to get attention. I’ve had some people say, ‘You’re doing this to stay relevant.’ I laugh because I know it’s untrue, but it’s so indicative of what a large problem this is.”Eating disorders in people with larger bodies are likely severely underdiagnosed. A culture of fat bias and harmful stereotypes about the connection between body weight and health tells us (wrongly) that all larger bodies are unhealthy, that all people struggling with eating disorders are thin. But harmful restrictive eating isn’t exclusively a problem for thin people—eating disorders can’t be generalized to a certain body type. Medical practitioners, even those with good intentions, aren’t immune to anti-fat bias. In a 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers found that mental health trainees were more likely to diagnose a client presenting with symptoms of an eating disorder with anorexia when the client was described as “underweight” or “normal weight” vs “overweight.” They also recommended fewer therapy sessions for the clients described as overweight and normal weight than for the underweight group. It’s that exact bias that makes it so hard for people in larger bodies to get the help they need. “So many people who are in larger bodies have messaged me and said, ‘I never thought I restricted until you started talking about this,’” Holliday wrote. “It’s been very empowering, but it’s also made me incredibly sad… It’s tough when you hear the word anorexia and it’s only equated with one kind of image. It’s detrimental to so many people, including myself.”Holliday shared that it was her dietitian who first broached the idea that she might have an eating disorder. “When she said anorexia, I laughed. I thought, ‘Do you see how fat I am? There’s no way that word could ever be attached to someone my size,’” Holliday said. Her dietitian referred her to a psychologist who confirmed the diagnosis. “I still struggle with wrapping my head around, ‘How can I be in a fat body and be starving?’ Then I realized that bodies of all sizes and shapes starve,” Holliday wrote. When someone in a larger body restricts their eating in a harmful way, it may be diagnosed as atypical anorexia. “Despite official clinical recognition, atypical anorexia nervosa is under-recognized and widely perceived to be less severe than anorexia nervosa,” according to the Acute Center for Eating Disorders and Severe Malnutrition. The symptoms are the same as with typical anorexia patients, except “the individual’s presentation weight is within or above the normal range,” according to Acute. “Patients with atypical anorexia nervosa experience the same incidence of binge eating, purging, psychiatric comorbidity, use of psychotropic medications, self-harm, suicidal ideation, severe depressive symptoms, and obsessive/compulsiveness as classic anorexia nervosa.”

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com