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PSY240H1 Lecture Notes - Binge Eating, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Etiology

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CH. 15: Eating Disorders Oct. 27, 2009
The Obesity Epidemic
-64% of American adults are overweight (BMI>25) or obese (BMI>30)
-25% of American children are overweight or obese
๎€ 13% of Canadian children are now considered obese
-The prevalence has doubled over the past two decades
**BMI = body mass index (takes both weight and height into account ๎€ but not perfectly
**anorexic people have a BMI < 17.5
Rates of Obesity in Children
๎€ Rates of obesity have really
increased over time
๎€ Rates tend to be higher in boys
Obesity isโ€ฆ
-Associated with health problems (e.g. CV disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and
high cholesterol)
๎€Associated with availability of fast foods (which are cheap) and certain activities (like
video games, text messaging)
๎€Hard to treat
-Obesity costs the US 100 billion dollars annually and causes 300 000 deaths annually
-Obesity itself is not a mental disorder, though it can be the result of one
The eating disorder epidemic
-There has been a parallel increase in the prevalence of dysfunctional eating practices,
including eating disorders, and unhealthy weight loss
-More prevalent in Westernized cultures
-Westernized culture simultaneously promotes the thin ideal (models) and excessive
consumption (bigger portion sizes)
๎€ Some people do it not to lose weight, but rather as an ideal of being able to
resist food ๎€ being in control of oneself
๎€ No appetite
๎€ A village was found that had no access to TV or connection to the Western world,
and there were NO eating disorders ๎€ once TV was introduced, the rates rose

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-45% of women and 25% of men are on diets to control their weight at any given time
-16% of women between 19 to 39 are perpetual dieters
-70% of 10 year old girls have dieted
-Americans spend $30 billion per year on weight loss products (more than on education,
social services combined)
-Itโ€™s not surprising that preoccupation with food and weight can lead to a clinical disorder
๎€ Stats were found by self-report questionnaires; in this case, the definition of โ€˜dietโ€™ is
โ€˜restricting what one eats in order to lose weightโ€™ (not โ€˜eating-healthy-dietsโ€™)
๎€ Primary motivation is to lose weight and improve self image; not for health
๎€ These pressures are felt prevalently by women
-Anorexia Nervosa (AN)
-Bulima Nervosa (BN)
-Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified (under neither anorexia or bulimia)
EX:๎€ binge eating disorder (like spitting, vomiting food out after a lot of eating๎€.purging)
๎€ 1980 was when eating disorders became a diagnosis
๎€ โ€œNervosaโ€ is associated with nervous/emotional reasons (although not always true; people
may just deny themselves food)
-Many anorexic people keep their weight
at a very specific number (like @
-Many can physically perceive their
body image as larger than it actually is
while also perceiving others differently
than themselves
-Absence of 3 menstrual cycles is not
absolutely applicable to all cases; some
people may just have a really low
weight where this happens; does not
mean they are anorexic
๎€ People who have the binge
eating/substance type disorder typically
have more psychological problems
๎€ In order to be anorexic, food restriction
must be deliberate
Epidemiology of AN
-Prevalence: 0.5 to 1% (lifetime)
-Gender: more than 90% female
-Onset: typically early to late adolescence (13-18 years) often after an episode of dieting
and the co-occurrence of an important life stressor (like puberty, going to high school,
conflict with peers, etc)
-Course: highly variable (can have long/short episodes, on/off episodes)
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