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

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10 Jan 2011
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 is
-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)
-Its 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 diet is
restricting what one eats in order to lose weight (not eating-healthy-diets’)
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 eating.purging)
1980 was when eating disorders became a diagnosis
Nervosais 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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