ABCs Ministries

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What Is Disordered Eating?    Anerexia Nervosa

As defined by Thunberg (1992), disordered eating encompasses a continuum from single dieting to the clinical diagnosis of anorexia and bulimia. The disordered eating continuum below illustrates classifications along the continuum, according to Vohs, Heatherton, and Herrin (2001), ranging from the nondieter to persons with clinical eating disorders identified in the DSM-V.

Disordered Eating Continuum

Disordered Eating Continuum

 

Pam Orgeron has both the life experience and the educational background to help and encourage anyone dealing with food issues.  Over 20 years ago Pam struggled with bulimia. Back then Pam reports that when she was under stress she would find herself binging on an entire loaf of bread followed by purging through taking laxatives.  Pam attributes her food struggles with growing up in an environment that encouraged the use of food as rewards and punishments, which Pam believes is a common problem today in Appalachia, if not across America. Food always tends to be central in any type of celebration, such as birthdays, weddings, and any holiday. Additionally, in Appalachia where Pam lives she has noticed how parents and other childcare givers often us food to manipulate children’s behaviors. One example is when parents tell children that they will take them out for ice cream after church if they behave in church. What many parents who have used food and who continue to try to reward and punish children with food do not realize is that they are setting those children up for disordered eating.

Eating disorders do not develop overnight. Likewise, recovery from disordered eating is a process that can take years for some individuals. Pam’s recovery from bulimia lasted months as she worked through her issues, gleaning as much knowledge and insight as possible from the resources related to disordered eating that will be shared on this page.

After Pam recovered from her unhealthy eating patterns, she continued to have an interest in the topic of disordered eating as she went through graduate school. She wrote several research papers related to the topic of disordered eating, for example, Disordered Eating in Adolescents. She also developed a PowerPoint presentation Food as a Drug, which can be retrieved at one of the links to the right. Pam’s thesis to receive her Education Specialist degree is entitled Exploration Linking Self-Reported Disordered Eating and Wellness in Undergraduate Health Students.  A link to this document is available to the right by clicking the Books & Curriculum link.

Recommended Resources to Overcome Disordered Eating


Books and Curriculum

Disordered Eating Websites

Food As A Drug

References:

Thunberg, K. C. (1992). The Relationship Between Sexual Abuse and Eating Problems (Doctoral dissertation, Hofstra University, 1992). Dissertation Abstracts International, 53 (03), 762A.

Vohs, K. D., Heatherton, T. F. & Herrin, M. (2001). Disordered eating and the transition to college: A prospective study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 280-288