Saturday, 9 March 2013

Obesity - and EDs

I realize that obesity is a problem - children younger and younger are experiencing problems with their weight. Obesity is a major issue, as there are serious health complications that can occur )hypertension, heart attacks, reproductive issues, joint problems, etc).

But would it not be interesting to see an article or news story about how eating disorders are also on the rise? The past few days have been full of news stories about obesity and how it is constantly increasing, as well as the burden on the healthcare system, the health problems associated with overweight, etc. And it IS a problem. As a nurse, I see many people who are struggling with excess weight. And they need help - even medical attention. They have the right to get treatment or help as they require it.

I just wish people were more aware about EDs as well. EDs, like obesity, have serious health implications as well. Osteoporosis, heart attacks, fainting attacks, decreased immunity, and even death. But we do not see too many news stories telling us about EDs and how they can kill. Or how they can land someone in the hospital for days, even months. And the victim may never make it through to see another day. Why does the media not focus on EDs like obesity?

For one thing, the number of obese people outnumber those with eating disorders - at least, that is what the statistics say. But it is quite easy to see someone who is overweight and to know that they are. But someone may have an ED and you might never know - they might hide their weight, or they might not even be deathly skinny. So, technically speaking, there are many people with EDs who are we unaware of.

Next, let's look at the media. There are commercials for weight loss, excercise programs, low-fat foods, etc. When was the last time you saw an ad telling people to appreciate their bodies and eat all things in moderation? Very rarely. So, the media and society in general tend to focus on obesity and weight loss, not loving your body and staying healthy. So, when the news comes out that obesity is on the rise, it is easy to find a link between this and society: low fat foods, weight loss diets, excercise programs, etc. Society makes it seem that even though you are overweight, there are always solutions. Go on a diet. Excercise. Buy the low-fat foods. There is always a solutuon. But what about for ED treatment? Have you ever seen a commercial telling people to be careful with diets because it can lead to ED? Or to enjoy eating all foods because restricting can cause EDs? I think not.

The problem, really, is with society. We need to realize that BOTH extremes of the weight spectrum are not good. Like all things, too much OR too little is not good. Moderation - the middle - is the best. We need to raise awareness that like obesity, EDs are a problem. And both these groups deserve to get help, treatment, or whatever the support they need on their journey towards health.


  1. I am not a doctor or a nurse but may be as what my friend was saying that obesity affceting one third of North American and not hitting children and that is why,I think.
    Ed is serious but is rare
    Good thought Marina to raise the awareness.


  2. You are right Marina
    We have seen media bias here.
    Media is motivated by profits.
    Look at all weight loss programs and how much they are trying to sell.They push the media to highlight the problem and so attract more customers.
    Money ,money ,money ,not health
    Please continue to expose media bias and doctors ignorance about EDs


  3. I think doctors and Health Canada also to be blamed for media bias or ignorance


  4. I put the blame more on Health Cannada

    Sandra D

  5. People working in the media have big influence on what is highlighted and what message is sending to the public.
    It is business world and not healthy world.
    All of us got to be careful


  6. I believe obesity is a kind of ED or at least part of it DE
    So this media bias


  7. It is my understanding " as you explained in your blog previously Marina " that many ED victims will go on years and years unrecognized and undiagnosed till things become terribley wrong and have to go to Hopsital.
    Also many others suffer what you descibed them as having DE or have EDNOS that may go unnoticed for years.
    I think media and statistics can not catch the maajority of cases.

    Not to mention the main criteria of ED is denial that there is a problem .

    I am not forgiving media or Health Cnanada or stat scan for underming the impact of ED on our health.

    Recovered ED victim

  8. Thank you Marina for defending ED and their families when Health Canada and media give all of us blind eye and shut ears.

    A Thankful Mother

  9. Excellent constructive feedback to our media and health care system


  10. Excellent message of endorsing moderation in our life.


  11. To maximize the benifits and avoid risks ,manage to have moderation in all aspects of life.That is what my grand Indian parents always saying.


  12. I applaud moderation in every thing ,eating ,working ,sleeping ,vaccation and studying


  13. Very constructive criticism to our media and I hope they get it


  14. Moderation is my goal in my life
    I will enjoy every thing in moderation.
    I hope our media look at issues in moderation and balance beween obesity hype and ignoring the other extreme and more dealy ED

    Excellent blog Marina


  15. You know Marina
    Media will not benift any thing from ED ,no sales ,no business etc.
    I blame OMA,Health Canada and medical schools more than the media as they have ethical obligation to look and raise awareness to this serious disease.
    God bless you


  16. Excellent thoughts.

  17. Thank you Marina for taking the time to bring this issue up and remind every body that ED can cause serious consequences much more than obesity and media and health organiztion need to be fair while pushing some agenda


  18. I understand it is not always easy to set your target to be in the middle .
    Some of us like to be on the top and achieve as much as they can.(this is good but put you under stress always as you will not have a break moment to fuel ,tune up and re-start)
    Others may may just barely do the minimum and feel happy with just passing grade.This put them at ease,relax mood ,happy life and feel content with their life (but their achievment is much less than the first group.

    Soo why not all of us follow what Marina was hoping all of us look for moderations in every thing and so We can enjoy the benifts of both.

    With my humble respect

  19. I also endorse moderation in every thing even in love and hate,work and play ,eating and sleeping ,study and vacation .



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