In the News, Eating Gone Wrong, Change Makers and Explore &Enjoy

In the News, Eating Gone Wrong, Change Makers and Explore &Enjoy

In the News, Eating Gone Wrong, Change Makers and Explore &Enjoy 2560 1914 AEPC Health

Thin Pursuits

I didn’t grow up with Barbie dolls as part of my childhood toy collection. However, I found myself reluctantly purchasing several of them, along with extra outfits, for my nieces. Despite Barbie’s various career options, such as astronaut and doctor, I always found the doll to be overly stereotypical and too thin for my liking.

The movie Barbie addresses many of the concerns I had every time I gifted one of these dolls. It delves into the challenges women encounter in a society with pervasive double standards. One particularly poignant moment comes from Gloria’s monologue, as she guides Barbie through the complexities of the real world:

“It’s practically impossible being a woman. You’re intelligent, stunningly beautiful, yet you don’t believe you’re good enough. We’re expected to be exceptional, yet somehow we’re always falling short. 

You’re supposed to be thin, but not too thin. And you can’t openly admit to wanting to be thin; you have to claim it’s about being healthy, all while still striving for thinness.”

The desire to be thin remains deeply ingrained in much of American society and is not limited to women. Men, too, can be overly focused on thinness. Regardless of gender, race or age, the pursuit of thinness can lead to dangerous eating disorders for millions of individuals.

The Skinny on Eating Disorders: Fast Facts
Eating disorders are often not well understood. Here are some important facts to know:

  • Eating disorders have the 2nd highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with nearly 1 person dying every 52 minutes as a direct result of their illness.
  • Over 29 million Americans experience a clinically significant eating disorder during their lifetime. Eating disorder affect everyone regardless of race, gender, or age.
  • From 2018 to 2022, eating disorder claim lines rose by 65 percent. Almost three-quarters of patients with eating disorders had some other kind of mental health condition as well.
  • Eating disorders are expensive, costing the U.S. economy almost $65 billion each year. Three-quarters of that cost, or almost $50 billion, is attributed to productivity losses: absenteeism or impaired work performance because of illness due to an eating disorder, needing to care for an ill family member with an eating disorder or premature death.

Bites of Insight: Eating Disorder Types
There are several types of eating disorders, each characterized by distinct patterns of behavior and thoughts related to food, body image, and weight. The most common eating disorders include:

  1. Anorexia nervosa, often simply called anorexia, is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, even when they are underweight. Individuals with anorexia may severely restrict their food intake, engage in excessive exercise, or use other methods to lose weight.
  2. Bulimia nervosa, or bulimia, is an illness in which a person binges on food, or has regular episodes of overeating, and feels a loss of control over their eating. The person then uses different methods to prevent weight gain, such as vomiting, abusing laxatives or excessive exercise.
  3. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating, during which individuals feel a lack of control over their eating. Unlike bulimia, individuals with BED do not resort to actions like purging to counter their binge eating episodes. This can lead to weight gain, obesity, as well as physical and psychological health problems. 

Spotting the Signs
Eating disorders are not always visible; they can affect individuals of any body weight or size. Symptoms vary by the type of eating disorder, making it challenging to recognize as they can resemble typical dieting behaviors. Click here to read about the signs of the most common eating disorders.

Navigating Recovery
Recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Various treatment options are available for different types of eating disorders. An important first step is consulting a primary care physician or mental health professional. They can evaluate the individual’s condition, offer a diagnosis, and suggest suitable treatment. More information about eating disorder treatment is available at:

National Eating Disorders Association



And if you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. There is also the option to text the Crisis Text Line by sending “HOME” to 741-741.

Read more about eating disorders in this edition of The Download!


Happy Reading!

Suzanne Daniels

  • In the News: new CDC Covid guidance, baby drop-off boxes, and healthcare quality took a hit during the pandemic.
  • Eating Gone Wrong: most common eating disorder, anorexia & assisted dying, and anorexia in boys & men.
  • Change Makers: taking on Kawasaki disease, hospital staffing and travel for the disabled.
  • Explore & Enjoy: including my personal favorite, How a 19th-Century Photographer Made the First ‘GIF’ of a Galloping Horse!

Enjoy the weekend!

Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
AEPC President
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]

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