According to the Stockholm Solution. Anorexia is caused by starvation, and that starvation brings on the psychological symptoms of anorexia,. This new treatment in Stockholm has roughly a 90% success rate, compared to the 50% or so sucess rate of convential treatment.
Ancel keys ( yes the man who condemned saturated fat) held a study called the Minnesota Starvation experiment "The investigation was designed to determine the physiological and psychological effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction and the effectiveness of dietary rehabilitation strategies." where 36 mentally and physically healthy males were starved for 6 months.
After these 6 months, they were given a 8 week rehabilitation period, they showed many symptoms of anorexics, including; depression, withdrawal, thinking they are fat when they were in recovery, exercising excessively, constantly obsessing about food, toying with their food, eating slowly ( up to two hours compared to finishing in minutes). Things like cooking books became very interesting to them, when they had no past interest.
When in the recovery period they often lost control and felt guilty and worthless afterwards.
When I was about 4 kg underweight (due to under-eating tendencies/life stresses) I remember first seeing this study and jumping out of my seat! Funnily enough it sounded a-lot like me. The obsessive thinking about food, the recipes, measuring and withdrawal i experienced. When I put myself on a weight gain plan I had a insane appetite, I really did loose control. I ate HEAPS, and I felt guilty afterwards, when the weight started to pile on I thought I looked flabby, but the truth was that I wasn't used to seeing myself like this. When I returned to a normal weight, all those symptoms went away, and I was good as new.
I just thought I wanted to share this with you guys because I have seen a few people who have suffered from Anorexia or similar eating disorders and might find it interesting.
Documentary --> http://www.babelgum.com/2831/the-stockholm-solution.html <-- Blew my mind!
Grok on ;)
This sounds like an interesting, though flawed, study. To me starving a volunteer for 6 months is not equal to what an anorexic puts themselves through - it's effectively putting a volunteer on a calorie restricted diet with a set end point.
I don't think this can accurately mimic the psychological or physiological effects of "severe and prolonged restriction"- 6 months seems short term and with a definite end poit, whereas that is certainly not what anorexics are going through: they see restriction as a means of control and there are many psychological factors. In this study their control over food has actually been handed over to Ancel Keys, so the driving force behind the artificial disorder is external.
+1 for sharing this with us, I will definitely check it out... I'm just a bit suspicious of the methods used!
this time frame is similar to when i put my body through starvation and severe restriction. it was only about 6 months of starvation, obsession and drastic weight loss, then i hit some sort of breaking point where i said "f it" and ate everything in site. ha.
i know if it wasn't for this period in my life though i would never have become interested in cooking, food, nutrition, metabolism or the science behind any of it. it seems like most people (especially women) in the nutrition/health field have suffered (or still suffer) from some kind of disordered eating. pretty freaky to a certain extent..but i also feel like it has allowed me an all encompassing perspective on how people view and take in nutrition and exercise advice.
but also you have no idea how many times i have heard someone in my nutrition class say something that sounds so reminiscent of things i said when i was suffering. it's incredibly sad, and also scary that these are the people going out in the world to counsel others about their diet.
What this study means to me "in the real world" is that when food is restricted (ie by parents, an external force) it can cause the same psychological symptoms of anorexia. This makes sense for some people, as many preteens and teens can develop eating disorders as they start to be able to control their own intake of food if their parents or caregivers were excessively controlling over their food before (even things like parents being paranoid about choking can cause an unhealthy preoccupation with food later in life). This could be relevant to a group of people who experience eating disorders from this, and for people coming out of periods of starvation due to famine, drought, stress, etc.
That being said, I don't think this study or experience speaks to a majority of eating disorder sufferers. I used to be part of an eating disorder therapy group for three years, and there are many, many different paths to anorexia, but from what I was hearing it usually started with the psychological syndromes, then lead to the starvation (some girls would plan their "launch" into their eating disorder for ages, collecting photos and "thinspiration" and building up hate for themselves and their bodies). The food restriction was usually the struggle part, whereas the psychological disorder was what came first and foremost. We also had many girls who would have been considered overweight, and they essentially had anorexia but couldn't be qualified by the DSMV because their BMI was too high, which I thought was always a bit twisted- they would literally be told that they couldn't have this disorder because they were too big, even though they had been starving themselves for a long time. This is just in my experience- I'm sure every group meets a wide variety of people, and those people have a wide variety of backgrounds.
Thanks for the link though! I've read his study before for a class (on eating disorders) and I think if it is a point of view that someone can relate to, it is worth having around!
Good foods to nourish the heart? 6 Answers