Watching what you eat: does mindfulness work for binging and weight loss?

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Helen Bould tells us that mindfulness may do many things, and is queuing up to take its place with CBT as the panacea of mental illness, but in her view it cannot yet lay claim to solving binge eating.

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Corpulence and compassion: weight bias among professionals treating eating disorders

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We elves are kept continually up to date with equality and diversity training, having had many centuries to build a society that rises above such petty differences, but we remain curious about the many aspects of stigma and its effects on humans. New avenues for research are constantly opening up, with studies continuing to highlight how [read the full story...]

RCT shows CBT is more effective than psychoanalytic psychotherapy for treating bulimia nervosa, but that’s only half the story

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I had actually heard about this Danish study, published recently by Poulsen et al. (2014) in the American Journal of Psychiatry, before it landed in my inbox. The findings are interesting because they highlight the debate surrounding the comparative efficacy of psychological treatments. What is most striking though, is how the study itself challenges the [read the full story...]

Anorexia Nervosa and Oxytocin: focusing our attention

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Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a very serious illness with a high morbidity; it is also notoriously difficult to treat. Praise then to researchers investigating innovative treatments that might help. This pair of papers investigating the hormone oxytocin have been widely reported in the popular press, from the BBC to Time magazine and the Daily Mail (link withheld [read the full story...]

One in 10 people in South East London report that they suffer from disordered eating, according to new survey

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Historically, eating disorders have been discussed in a very black and white fashion; either you do or you don’t have one. Whilst this may be beneficial in terms of research and diagnosis, it isn’t particularly helpful for those that sit in the grey area between the two. People in this grey area are often referred [read the full story...]

Focal psychodynamic therapy or CBT vs optimised treatment as usual in outpatients with anorexia

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Anorexia nervosa has long been known to have a poor prognosis and few effective treatments are available (Kaplan and Garfinkel, 1999). Research in this area is limited, particularly in regards to evidence-based guidance.  The NICE eating disorders guidance (2004) is in need of an update, although there is a more recently produced care pathway. Other [read the full story...]

RCT compares two different versions of enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa in an inpatient setting

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A general misconception about anorexia is that it’s just about eating and ‘being thin’, but it’s more complex than that. The illness affects multiple aspects of a person’s life, and often goes hand in hand with other psychological issues such as low mood, or excessive worry. In addition, the jury is still out on the exact [read the full story...]

We all know that the Internet can be a dangerous place for people with eating disorders, but can it also help them get better?

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Chances are you’ve heard of the internet. Unless you’re reading this after it’s been transcribed onto some parchment and brought to you by a psychologically-interested crow in which case you’ve got some further research to do. In terms of eating disorders, most people may associate the internet with those ghastly pro-anorexia sites which for reasons [read the full story...]

Weak evidence from recent review suggests there is no harm when using exercise to treat anorexia nervosa

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Exercise is usually promoted as a healthy behaviour, with government guidelines on how much we should all do per week. At the right levels many people find exercise an enjoyable way to improve their health, but is this always the case? For a particular group of people who have problems with eating and weight, this [read the full story...]

The overall incidence of eating disorders increased between 2000 and 2009, says new register-based UK study

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Eating disorders are chronic conditions associated with high mortality and morbidity as highlighted by a previous Mental Elf blog in 2011. Eating disorders are categorised into three main groups: i. Anorexia Nervosa (AN), ii. Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and iii. Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). Using ICD 10 criteria, EDNOS includes atypical AN and atypical BN as well [read the full story...]