Monday, September 21, 2009

Treatment Providers - New Jersey

Treatment Providers around New Jersey
I do not personally endorse any treatment provider or center, but I would like to have a list here for anyone looking for resources.


Cedar Knolls

Eating Disorder Center at ADHD Mood & Behavior Center
*Welcome to call for free advice*
210 Malapardis Rd.
Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927
Phone (973) 605-5000
Fax: (973) 898-9305
Treatment Models: Biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, individual sessions, family sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, support group sessions, psychopharm, IPT, family systems, medical/nutrition stabilization.
Clients Include: Children, adolescents, athletes, and college students, males and females, who suffer from eating disorders, co-morbid psychiatric disorder, and body image issues.


The Koch Center
40 North Van Brunt Street
Englewood, NJ 07631

(201) 670-6450
Treatment Model:  Comprehensive Psychological Services with a Specialty in Eating Disorders.  When a person is struggling, they need to be able to get the best possible help in the easiest and most comfortable way. We are dedicated to providing the utmost in personalized quality care. That is why we customize our treatment to meet your needs and offer so many services in one place.
Far Hills

Jennifer L Stull, MSW, LCSW
*Welcome to call for free advice*
Marillac Behavioral Health
P.O. Box 603
Far Hills, NJ 07931
Phone: (908) 310-8476
Fax: (908) 781-5731
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, family sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, support groups sessions, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems.
Clients Include: Those who suffer from eating disorders, co-morbid psychiatric disorder, body image issues, and self-injury issues.

Florham Park

Susan Simon-Fleischer, MSW, LCSW, CSW-R, BCD
*Welcome to call for free advice*
Medical Arts Building
205 Ridgedale Avenue
Florham Park, NJ 07932 USA
Office Phone: (973) 535-3626
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, family sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, support groups sessions, CBT, psychodynamic, DBT, feminist, bariatric evaluations, consultations.

Populations: Adolescents, athletes, body image, college students, eating disorders, males, self injury, sexual abuse, co-morbid psychiatric disorders, bariatric patients, compulsive over eaters


Ani Orphanides, RD
405 Omni Drive
Hillsborough, NJ 18077
Office Phone: 908.874.8600 ext. 2

Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

79 Hudson Street, Suite 203, Hoboken, NJ 07030
973-740-0234 Fax 973-740-0702


Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

570 West Mount Pleasant Ave, Suite 108
Livingston, NJ 07039
973-740-0234 Fax 973-740-0702


Barbara Reese, LCSW, MSW, MPS, ADTR
*Free Monthly ANAD Support Group, Multifamily*  *Welcome to call for free advice*
460 Bloomfield Ave., Suite 307
Montclair, NJ 07042
(973) 783-2292
Treatment Models: Psychodynamics, feminist therapy, weekly private therapy groups. Individual, family, couples, group and support group sessions.
Clients Include: Children, adolescents, college students, athletes, males and females, who are medically ill, suffer from eating disorders, co-morbid psychiatric disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, issues related to body image, self-injury, and sexual abuse.

Joanna Scheier, MSW, LCSW, LSW
209 Cooper Ave., Suite 9A
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043
(973) 744-4414
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, family sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamics, family systems, and feminist models.
Clients Include: Adolescents, and college students, who suffer from eating disorders, alcohol/drug addictions, self-injury issues, and sexual abuse issues.

Midland Park

R. Hope Eliasof, LCSW
666 Godwin Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432
Phone: (201)445-0550
Fax: (201)767-8897
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamics, and feminist.
Clients Include: College students, males and females, who suffer from Body image issues, bulimia and compulsive overeating.

Medical Center at Princeton

Eating Disorder Program
Princeton, New Jersey
(609) 497-4490
Treatment Models:  Our board certified psychiatrists evaluate each patient individually to develop a treatment plan designed to achieve a full recovery. Our multidisciplinary approach is comprehensive to address all aspects of a patient’s care - Medical management, Individual psychotherapy, Nutrition counseling, Family therapy, Group psychotherapy, Tutoring, Art therapy, Relaxation, Yoga

Ridgewood, NJ

Nancy Feldman, RD
65 N. Maple Ave.
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Treatment Models: Individual, Nutritional, CBT, Medical/Nutrition Stabilization.
Populations: Adolescents, Body Image, Children, College Students, Eating Disorders, Males, Medically Ill.

The Renfrew Center of Northern New Jersey
174 Union Street
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Fax: 201-652-6253
Programs:  Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, Outpatient Services, Adolescent Eating Disorders Group, Emotional Eating Group. Eating Disorders Aftercare Group. Nutrition Group
The Renfrew Center is JCAHO accredited. Treatment programs and services are covered by most insurance policies.


Michell Gursky, MS, RD
*Welcome to call for free advice*
168 Tamarack Circle
Skillman, NJ 08558
(732) 670-9574
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, family sessions, nutritional support, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medical/nutrition stabilization.
Clients Include: Adolescents, children, and college students, who suffer from eating disorders, and issues related to body image.


Nan Lehmann, LCSW
*Welcome to call for free advice*
579 West Englewood Ave.
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: (201) 836-4239
Fax: (201) 836-5228
Treatment Models: Individual sessions, family sessions, couple sessions, support groups, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral, IPT, psychodynamic, medical/nutritional stabilization, DBT, feminist.
Populations: Alcohol and drug addiction, adolescents, athletes, body image, dollege students, eating disorders, males, medically ill, self injury, sexual abuse, co-morbid psychiatric disorders.

Tinton Falls

Donald E. Erwin, PhD
*Support Groups*  *Accepts Medicaid/Medicare.* *Sliding Fee Scale.*
*Welcome to call for free advice. *
Monmouth Psychological Associates
620 Shrewsbury Ave.
Tinton Falls, NJ 07701
(732) 530-9029
Treatment Models: Family sessions, individual sessions, couples sessions, group sessions, support groups, nutritional therapy, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral therapy, DPT, medical/nutritional therapy, feminist, dialectical behavior therapy.
Clients Include: Children, adolescents, athletes, and college students, males and females, who are medically ill, suffer from eating disorders, issues related to body image, self-injury, co-morbid psychiatric Disorder, and sexual abuse.


The Koch Center
71 Franklin Turnpike
Waldwick, NJ 07463
(201) 670-6450
Treatment Model: Comprehensive Psychological Services with a Specialty in Eating Disorders.  When a person is struggling, they need to be able to get the best possible help in the easiest and most comfortable way. We are dedicated to providing the utmost in personalized quality care. That is why we customize our treatment to meet your needs and offer so many services in one place.


Carol McCrea, PhD
*Welcome to call for free advice*
27 Mountain Blvd. Ste 10
Warren, NJ 07059
Phone: (908) 704-0770
Fax: (908) 279-7948
Treatment Models: Individual, family, biopsychosocial, 12 step, CBT, Family Systems.
Clients Include: Individual, Adolescents, Body Image, College Students, Males, Self Injury, Sexual Abuse, Co-morbid psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug addiction.


Kathy Most, LCSW
*Welcome to call for free advice*
209 Ross PL., Westfield, NJ 01090
(908) 499-5491
Treatment Models: Family sessions, couples sessions, biopsychosocial, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic behavior therapy.
Clients Include: Adolescents, athletes, and college students, including males and females, who suffer from eating disorders, co-morbid psychiatric disorder, and issues related to body image, self-injury, and sexual abuse.


Anne Cavaliere, MA
The Starting Point
215 Highland Avenue,Suite C
Westmont, NJ 08108
Phone: 856-854-3155 x119
Fax: 856-854-0992
Anne specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and food addiction, and she works with adults and adolescents in both individual and group therapy.

Get involved with a Local NEDA Event!

New Jersey Benefit Luncheon on Sept. 29th at Baltusrol featuring Diana Williams, WABC-TV Anchor, author Jenni Schaefer. Honorees Susan Maccia and Dawn Beye; NEDA Long Island Comedy Night October 9th; NEDA LI Public Conference on October 10th with Jenni Schaefer; and the 1st ever NEDA WALK in NYC’s Riverside Park on October 11th! Please read below for further details!

New Jersey Benefit Luncheon
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Baltusrol Golf Club
201, Shunpike Road
Springfield, NJ 07081

Special Honored Guest
Diana Williams of WABC-TV

Dawn Beye & Susan Maccia

Featured Guest Speaker and Author
Jenni Schaefer (Author of Life Without ED)

Tickets can be reserved individually ($100 or $150 each) or by table(s) of 10 ($2500.00). Please RSVP no later than September 22, 2009 by contacting (908) 273-5382.

Reservations and checks can be mailed to:
NEDA Luncheon
PO Box 1505
Summit, NJ 07902-1505

NEDA Long Island Friday Night Fundraiser

October 9, 2009
NEDA-Long Island invites you to a comedy club for an entertaining night of comedy and laughs in support of NEDA-LI. To reserve a space at the Friday Night Fundraiser, print and mail this downloadable form. The Omni Building,333 Earle Ovington Blvd,Uniondale, Long Island, NY 11553

NEDA Long Island Public Conference and Luncheon
Saturday - October 10, 2009 - 10:00am-12:00pm (Conference)
12:45pm-2:30pm (Luncheon)

The Omni Building
333 Earle Ovington Blvd
Uniondale, Long Island, NY 11553
$75 Donation / $125 VIP Package

NEDA-Long Island and the Center for Change present: Goodbye ED, Hello Me: Life After an Eating Disorder featuring Jenni Schaefer, speaker, singer/songwriter, NEDA Ambassador and Sondra Kronberg, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition therapist, national speaker, NEDA-LI Liaison and recipient of NEDA 2004 Excellence in Practice Award.

Following the Conference, a Luncheon will be held, giving attendees a chance to meet Jenni Schaeffer, and Sondra Kronberg, MS, RD, CDN. Luncheon hosted by NEDA-LI and Avalon Hills Residential Eating Disorders Program.

Download and mail this form to reserve your space at this Conference and Luncheon!

NEW YORK CITY’s 1st Annual Walk

Riverside Park at West 83rd Street
Sunday, October 11th
Register Today at

Websites 'normalising anorexia'

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for action to address the danger to girls which, it says, comes from websites that promote eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Dr John Morgan, director of the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders, discusses whether the internet poses a danger to young people.

Video at source.

Girls from educated families more at risk of eating disorders

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Girls from well educated families who do well at school appear to be more at risk of developing an eating disorder, maybe because they feel more pressure to succeed, according to Swedish researchers.

A study which followed more than 13,000 women born in Sweden between 1952 and 1989 found that as parents' or grandmothers' education increased, so did girls' risk of being hospitalized for anorexia or another eating disorder.

The risk also climbed in tandem with the girls' own grades in high school, the researchers from Stockholm's Karolinska Institute reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"It's possible that these girls feel more pressure from family to succeed -- which for some could translate into an obsession with controlling their eating and body weight," the researchers said in a statement.

They added that higher-achieving girls may also be more likely to have certain personality traits, such as perfectionism, that make them relatively more vulnerable to eating disorders.

Such demands likely play an "important role" in eating disorder development, researcher Jennie Ahren-Moonga told Reuters Health.

"This is even more relevant when combined with low self- esteem, as the feeling of not being able to live up to expectations plays a crucial role in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa," she said.

The vast majority of girls in the study were never treated for an eating disorder, regardless of family education and grades with only 55 out of 13,376 hospitalized during the study period.

The researchers said the findings did not prove that greater education and school achievement lead to eating disorders but suggest that girls from families with higher academic achievement were at relatively greater risk which could help prevent the onset of such problems.

Girls whose parents went to college had about twice the risk of being treated for an eating disorder as those whose parents had only an elementary-school education.

The risk was six times higher among girls whose maternal grandmothers had a college education, compared with those whose grandmothers went only to elementary school.

Similarly, girls with the highest grades at age 15 had twice the risk of hospitalization as girls with the lowest grades.

Ahren-Moonga said parents should be aware of the potential signs of an eating disorder, such as when a child begins to skip meals, routinely goes to the bathroom after a meal or loses weight for no clear reason.

(Reporting by Reuters Health, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Critics Blast Insurers for Poor Coverage of Eating Disorders

More than 11 million people in the United States have eating disorders.

And because an eating disorder can be a life-threatening condition with serious medical consequences, you'd assume that most health insurances polices would cover it. But many people living with eating disorders are falling through the cracks when it comes to health insurance, because in most cases, their treatment is not adequately covered, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

No one knows that better than the Gomez family. Emily Gomez, 17, is fighting for her life, and her parents are fighting with their insurance company to pay for her treatment.

Emily, who lives on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is a trained singer who dreams of performing on Broadway one day. But a few months ago, instead of travelling to the Great White Way, she travelled instead to an eating disorder clinic called Timberline Knolls in a quiet suburb of Chicago, more than 1,000 miles from home.

"You know, I'd eat a normal dinner and then afterwards just go through my pantry and anything I could find I'd eat," Emily said. "Then I'd go upstairs to my bathroom and then I'd usually end up purging."

Emily now suffers from bulimia, but when she was first diagnosed with an eating disorder about three and a half years ago, she suffered from anorexia. She tried to hide it from her family, but it soon became obvious that Emily was starving herself.

"She would eat two slices of like deli ham and a couple of pieces of lettuce," recalled her mother, Leigh Gomez. "And she would eat some carrots and some cucumbers up to the 300 calorie level. And that would be it for the whole day."

Emily started passing out in school and several times she wound up in the hospital. Her doctor said something had to be done -- and fast. "Her doctor would look at me and say, 'You have got to do something and quick. … This child is extremely sick, and if you don't do something immediately, you're going to find her dead on the floor,'" Leigh Gomez said.

A team of pediatricians said outpatient care wasn't enough. They said Emily needed long-term residential treatment.

But that treatment is expensive, ranging from $750 to $1,000 a day. Because Emily was so sick, her parents assumed the treatment would be covered by their insurer, but they were wrong.

"Each time I called, they just said I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do for you,'" Leigh Gomez said.

Serious Health Consequences of Eating Disorders

The insurer said nothing could be done, because one section of the family's Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina policy -- written in fine print -- caps coverage for mental illnesses at $2,000. And because eating disorders are considered a mental illness by the insurer, that is all it would pay, even though Emily's treatment cost the Gomez family more than $50,000.

"It's not covering my family," Leigh Gomez said. "It is destroying my family."

Lynn Grefe, the CEO of the National Eating Disorders Association, said eating disorders are one of the leading causes of death among young people.

According to the association, 10 percent of people with anorexia nervosa die as a result of complications from the illness. Still, victims struggle for adequate insurance coverage.

"Everything is wrong with this situation," Grefe said. "I mean, you have young people. They're usually very young women, some men, who are just fighting for their lives."

Dr. Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, agrees that eating disorders have dangerous medical consequences.

"In the case of anorexia nervosa, you've got an illness with very severe disability [that] frequently ends up with a long-term hospitalization and high mortality" Insel said. "So for women between the ages of 15 and 24, there's about a 12-fold increase in mortality."

"Good Morning America" talked to the medical director of the Gomez's insurer, Dr. John Bradley.

He acknowledged that while the insurance company won't pay for the treatment of a child like Emily Gomez, it would cover complications that result from an eating disorder, such as a heart condition. He said that policy "absolutely" makes sense.

"This is true for depression, if someone attempts to commit suicide and they end up in the hospital ... we cover that," Bradley said.

When asked if he believes the coverage for eating disorders is inadequate, Bradley said, "I think the coverage of a lot of conditions is inadequate."

"The financial situation that this family finds themselves in is in no small part due to the cost of the care that was delivered," he said.

Hope for Daughter's 'Health and Well-Being'

Emily Gomez is back home now. Her family just submitted a new $20,000 claim for her recent stay at Timberline Knolls, which was also denied. So to pay for Emily's treatment, her family had to do something drastic.

"Well it's just really hard when you have to cash your child's college fund in because you can't get your insurance to help you," Leigh Gomez said.

The Gomez family has complained to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, saying its insurer failed to tell the family about treatment options for Emily when they were most needed. The Gomezes are now considering a lawsuit against their insurer for negligence, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina says they handled the Gomez's claims properly and did in fact tell the family about their treatment options.

People suffering from eating disorders have won major settlements against their health insurers in court, after arguing in class action lawsuits that the disease is biologically based and that treatment should be adequately covered.

Forty-eight states have some form of parity laws, which force insurers to cover mental health disorders the same way they cover physical disorders, but only 25 of the states have laws that apply specifically to eating disorders, and the state parity laws don't affect all insurance plans, including the Gomez's.

However, a new bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives, called the FREED Act (Federal Response to End Eating Disorders), if it became law, would require insurers offering group health insurance to specifically cover eating disorders.

While the Gomez's insurer wouldn't pay their claims, after "GMA" called the treatment center Emily first stayed at -- Remuda Ranch -- the center offered free residential treatment to her if she ever needs it again.

Leigh Gomez still has hope for a healthy future for Emily.

"I hope she finds a peace of mind," she said. "That she lays down this burden that she has. That she finds health, well-being, and that she takes Broadway by storm."

On October 11, the National Eating Disorders Association will be holding its first New York City walk to raise awareness in Riverside Park.

Project HEAL is a not-for-profit organization that raises money for people suffering from eating disorders and cannot afford treatment. For more information on this organization CLICK HERE. And CLICK HERE to visit to find out how you can get involved in Project HEAL.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rethinking the Freshman 15 by Johannah Cornblatt

Haley Hogan, a recent Yale graduate who has suffered from anorexia, got used to seeing nutrition facts displayed at New York chain restaurants when she took a semester off last fall. But when she returned to Yale in the spring, she was shocked to find cards detailing calorie information all over her residential dining hall. "They're very triggering if you're in recovery from an eating disorder," Hogan says of calorie counts. "I felt almost violated that Yale had done this."

With more than 30 percent of college students falling into the American College Health Association's obese or overweight categories, Yale is not the only school trying to help students make smart food choices. But experts say the emphasis on calorie counts can backfire and lead to disordered eating, even among students with no history of food issues.

Dr. Richard Kreipe, a specialist in adolescent medicine whose research centers on eating disorders, says that while he has seen fewer cases of classic eating disorders like restrictive anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa in the past several years, the number of patients with eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) has "almost doubled" nationally in the midst of America's obesity epidemic. (An EDNOS, also called disordered eating, is an eating disorder that doesn't meet the strict diagnostic criteria for a full-blown eating disorder, but may include drastic weight loss, caloric restriction, binging, and purging.) Since 2000, the number of college students dieting, vomiting, or taking laxatives to lose weight has jumped from about 28 to 38 percent, according to the American College Health Association's annual surveys. Well-balanced caloric intake, with regular meals and physical activity—not dieting—is the best way to avoid obesity, says Kreipe, a professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center. That's why, in his view, calorie information doesn't benefit students. "Nutrition is not a simple thing that can be distilled down into a label," he says. "There's a tendency for people to overinterpret what a specific number means."

Last fall, Harvard removed cards with calorie information from dining halls. Writing about the decision on his blog, Ted Mayer, executive director of Harvard's dining services, noted that his staff needed to address "the challenge a quiet and surprisingly large contingent of our community faces with eating disorders." The dining staff now makes the information available on the Internet and at kiosks in the dining halls.

Going away to college makes all students vulnerable to weight gain and disordered eating, often at the same time. Students tend to experience a loss of structure when they go from high school to college. Studies have found that college students are less likely to eat breakfast or regular meals, and snack foods account for many often-unrecognized calories. All-you-can-eat dining halls and easy access to alcohol also make college students more susceptible to weight gain. At the same time, anxiety about gaining the "freshman 15" can trigger disordered eating—often well beyond the freshman year. Kreipe says that in a new setting surrounded by new people, college students are more likely to develop body-image issues, which can also lead to disordered eating.

Even overweight students, the prime targets of obesity-awareness programs, may get the wrong message. In a recent study, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, found that about 40 percent of overweight college-age women and roughly 20 percent of overweight college-age men engaged in disordered eating behaviors in an attempt to get thin. "People are concerned about the fat kids being fat and the thin kids having anorexia," she says. "But people aren't concerned about the disordered eating among the overweight kids." For under- and overweight people alike, eating disorders can lead to a host of health issues, including electrolyte imbalances, fertility problems, impaired brain development, bone loss, and, in severe cases, death. The study also showed that disordered eating behavior leads to further weight gain over time.

Colleges that focus solely on calorie counts are over-simplifying nutrition, says Neumark-Sztainer, who encourages collaboration between the eating disorder and obesity fields. More comprehensive information—like a nutrient density score—would better serve students. Such data would distinguish between items like a Coke, which is high in calories but low in nutrients, and avocado, which is rich in both calories and nutrients. Neumark-Szainer says the focus at college should be less on what people eat then how they eat. For example, students who eat with others are more likely to make healthy food choices and less likely to develop disordered eating—either eating too much or too little—than those who eat alone, she says.

There are other ways that schools can help students avoid unhealthy weight gain without provoking eating disorders. Colleges should provide opportunities for healthy physical activity that don't necessarily involve being on a sports team or going to the gym, Kreipe says. For example, schools might create walking trails or organize activities and social groups that focus on physically activity. Kreipe also recommends that schools make more healthy options—both in dining halls and vending machines—available. Above all, he says, colleges should be emphasizing portion size.

Some schools have tried to do just that. Last fall, Penn State converted one of its all-you-can-eat dining halls into a so-called "healthy dining hall," free from French fries, deep-fried chicken, or white bread. For each meal, Penn State's healthy dining hall features a model-portion plate, which consists of 50 percent fruits and vegetables, 25 percent grains, and 25 percent proteins. (The program is modeled on one at the University of North Texas.)

Still, Penn State provides caloric breakdowns in its healthy dining hall and in all other cafeterias on campus. "Healthy entrees," designated as those that container fewer than 400 calories and 10 grams of fat, are identified by a special check on the cards. Lisa Wandel, Penn State's residential-dining director, says it's the college's responsibility to notify students about what's in their food. "Would you pull labels off all the items in a grocery store?" she says. "We can't hide the fact that food has calories. I think it's better to provide that information so students can make educated choices."

Despite objections from students like Haley Hogan, Yale also plans to continue posting calorie counts in its dining halls this year. Rafi Taherian, executive director of Yale dining, says he expects that students will one day have access to real-time information about food through their cell phones or laptops. "I don't think we can hold the information back from them," he says. In fact, Rafi predicts that colleges, like some states and cities, will soon be required to provide students with nutritional data.

More important, it seems, is giving students the context to understand that information and making sure their education focuses on healthy behavior, not numbers on a scale.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Muscling the mirror by Quentin Williams

Male students suffering from muscle dysmorphia, a body-obsessive disorder, struggle to see past a distorted self image.

For some men, body image is a major concern that can turn into an unhealthy obsessive disorder called bigorexia, also commonly known as muscle dysmorphia. This disorder affects many college men as they make the transition from adolescence into adulthood.

“Muscle dysmorphia is very similar to anorexia, where someone who is stick thin will look in the mirror and see the person they were when they weighed 200 pounds,” said Tricia DePoe, fitness coordinator of the IBC Student Recreation Center, adding that someone who struggles with muscle dysmorphia disorder could be very muscular and symmetric.

“Others will look up to him,” she said, “but this guy looks in the mirror and he keeps seeing the kid that was 150 pounds and without the muscle on him.”

Ralph Longo hadn’t heard of the disorder but seems to exhibit some of the characteristics of it.
“As someone that works out a lot and that goes to the gym a lot, my body is something that I’m always looking to improve,” said Longo. “I really just want to get bigger, more muscular, more defined.”

Longo spends a good portion of his day counting calories, mixing shakes and working out to achieve his goals. At 5 feet, 10 inches and 180 pounds, Longo ingests more than 2,500 calories and about 200 grams of protein a day to put on more mass.

“I usually take two protein shakes a day,” Longo said. “I take one shake right after my workout and one after I eat. Each shake has about 48 grams of protein in it.”

The nature of bodybuilding requires very strict dietary and fitness routines, which often promote a culture where this disorder is praised. Men with bigorexia are characterized by a complete preoccupation with muscle development, to the point that they will miss important social and professional commitments in order to exercise. They can also experience a lack of satisfaction with food, due to overeating and experience a noticeable change in mood when gym or meal schedules are thrown off.

Sophomore Robert Bishop is also familiar with the disorder.

“One friend of mine has been going to the gym for a while now, and pretty much all of his life is dedicated to the bodybuilding,” Bishop said. “He doesn’t even compete. He just wants to look good.”

Bishop, a political science major, is also on a mission to improve his physique, but his approach is a little more balanced, he said.

“Bodybuilding, for me, is just a hobby. The most important things in my life are school, family, religion, and then working out is just a hobby,” he said. “I try to make sure that those values come first.”

After spending two years working at the IBC, DePoe has developed theories about bigorexia.

“You’ll find that some men strive to be like the guys in the fitness magazines or the athletes that you see on TV. What they don’t see when they look at these images is that that athlete or those fitness models get paid to work out,” DePoe said.

The disorder is rooted in the images held in the men’s minds. DePoe said that as weight fluctuates, we don’t necessarily see the change.

“With anorexia, when you lose 20 pound, you look at yourself like you were when you were 20 pounds heavier, whereas everyone else is like, ‘Oh, you look great,’” she said. “And it also [works] the other way around. Someone who strives to put on muscle mass will look at [him or herself] in the mirror [and] still see the skinny kid from high school.”

Bishop was that guy, he said.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I was really skinny, and I wanted to go out for safety on the football team, so I knew that I had to gain weight,” he said. “Now that I don’t play football anymore, my goal is pretty much to focus on bodybuilding.”

Today, Bishop can be found at the IBC almost everyday.

The IBC is holding a body composition challenge to give clients a little extra motivation to stay balanced. In addition to equipment, the IBC offers a wide variety of services to assist students towards their fitness goals – including yoga, Pilates and circuit express sessions, nutrition and diet counseling and more.

DePoe recommends beginners take one or two of the group fitness sessions to learn the basics.

“We don’t have personal training,” she said, “but we have group fitness leaders who are there to make sure you have proper form, that you are doing [the exercise] right, to answer any questions.”

Quentin Williams and Monica Sellecchia can be reached at and

Eating Disorders Field Still Growing Despite Recession

Unemployment is not an issue among eating disorder treatment professionals. As health insurance coverage and awareness of treatment options climb, specialists in the field are still hard to find. Jobs are also open to marketing professionals and other non-medical workers, but open positions are not well publicized. A new website,, will alert job seekers to these job opportunities.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) September 15, 2009 -- As diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders improves, the need for treatment options increases, and the number of treatment facilities is on the rise. Recessionary conditions have not affected hiring in this industry, and job opportunities range from administrative professionals and marketing reps to clinicians such as nurses, therapists, and dietitians.

Job openings in the eating disorders field, although numerous, are poorly publicized, often hidden on treatment center websites that attract mostly patients looking for care. Anyone looking for work in the field knows their first job is just finding open positions. It's a tough biz to break into, and if you don't have a network, you don't have a chance.

But that's all about to change. With today's launch of, the wide world of eating disorders careers is open for business. As the only website dedicated to jobs in the field of eating disorders treatment, provides guidance and opportunities for recent grads looking for work, seasoned professionals open to change, and students planning ahead. They will all find a buffet of information - current job openings, career advice, continuing education, and more - all in one convenient and free location.

Owner Jessica Setnick says, "America is finally waking up to eating disorders as a problem with solutions. People are seeking help in numbers higher than ever before. But the field has traditionally been a 'who you know' profession. Finally there are so many jobs that none of us knows enough qualified people. This website will bring the employers and the job seekers together for the first time."

Current job seekers on the site include a chef and a videographer, in addition to the many expected therapists and clinicians. They all share the hope of a job that means something. Many are recovered and planning to give back to the profession that helped them during their own eating disorder. "The highlight of is the Advice from the Experts," says a member of the site, now recovered from anorexia and in school to become a dietitian. "It gives me hope that when I finish school I can be out there helping girls like me."

For more information, please contact Jessica Setnick at 214-503-7100

Appetite for Destruction: The Rise of Crystal Renn, Curvy Top Model By Elva Ramirez

Each fashion week comes packed with its own themes — and we’re not necessarily talking about hemlines. For the last few seasons, the lack of runway diversity and outrage over too-skinny models has dominated fashion week coverage. This season’s theme is shaping up to be about getting people to buy clothes, now, please, and not at a discount.

But lest people forget about the price too-skinny models pay for bright lights and big cities, model Crystal Renn is ready to remind us. Renn’s autobiography “Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves” arrives in stores on Sept. 9, just in time for New York’s seasonal shot of unattainable glamour.

“Hungry” charts the story of Renn’s early youth in Mississippi to her rise as a New York City model. A model scout lures the 14-year-old cheerleader into the world of fashion with promises of couture, Paris and photo shoots — on the condition that she whittle her hips from 43 inches to 34. When exercise and healthy eating can’t shave the last few inches off, Renn develops anorexia. The 5′9″ model officially joins Manhattan’s modeling circuit in 2002. Her weight? 95 pounds.

But here’s the unexpected narrative arc: In mid-2003, after giving in to the crushing eating disorder, she decides to stop her unhealthy behavior, gains back her lost weight… and is celebrated for her curves. Renn’s sumptuous post-disorder brunette beauty has since graced the editorial pages of Vogue, been featured in a Dolce & Gabbana ad and closed out Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2006 runway show.

“People ask me all the time, Do you only want to see only plus-size women out there?,” says Renn, now 23 and at 165 pounds, a size 12. “But that’s not an accurate portrayal either. There are many different-sized women. If perfection is only a size 0, what are you saying to women?”

When she was competing against other thin girls, she incurred wrathful looks if her hips were bigger than 34 inches, but now she’s embraced at fashion shoots. “People treat me [like a] human,” Renn says. “When I show up to a shoot, they say, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so thin!’ They don’t really have a term for me.”

Renn uses her recovery from anorexia as a way of framing women’s complicated relationship with weight. “How many people say, ‘When I lose 15 pounds, then I’m going to travel, then I’m going to get that job raise, then I’m going to get that relationship that I want?’ ” she says. “They need to stop saying that and just go out there and live.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two college seasons - one rant: By Laura Collins

The ED world is buzzing with the same chat that always goes on in August: parents and clinicians looking for referrals to eating disorder treatment for a student leaving for college. These emails, listing symptoms and medical state, break my heart. They often use the word "motivated" and "charming" as if patients need to be pleasing in order to garner a clinician's attention.

It all begs the question: Why would a student with an active eating disorder be going to college? Really - I'm serious. I don't understand why this is acceptable. This is a life-sucking, potentially disabling or lethal illness: an anosognosic condition that thrives on secrecy and freedom from monitoring.

I know the tremendous pressure on parents by social expectations, by the young person's insistence that everything will be all right and that this is all he or she "lives for." I know the guilt and disempowerment of being told by professional advisers that we must 'let go.' I also know parents just get tired, and our egos get involved in the accomplishments of our children.
But you know what? We're parents, and that is a lifelong position. We have a right and a responsibility to do what is right for our child according to our unique and loving judgement. No one can tell us (and no one will take responsibility later) whether college is safe or advisable.
I put my money where my mouth is on this one: my daughter relapsed slightly after her freshman year and we withdrew support for college until she was not just well but quite well. She did not like that. We did not like doing it. But I believe it was our job to do it, and her longterm health and recovery depended on it. When she was ready, she went back and thrived (and had a treatment team for maintenance).

I've dealt with two universities as a parent - neither were in a position to protect or support my daughter's mental health. They said they could and would, but that isn't realistic. Looking back I don't know why I entertained the idea that they could. This is not diabetes or a vision problem where the patient is motivated and able to reliably self-monitor. Schools are not parents.

No team of providers on or off campus is going to be able to provide the kind of accountability and monitoring and personal support that a parent provides and an eating disorder patient deserves. No one at the dorm is going to watch out for or call the parents of a student unless the situation is so far gone that irreparable damage is done. We can't expect it and we can't get angry that they don't do it.

If you are not 100% confident of your child's recovery, committed to staying in the picture more than your child and school may like, ready to visit frequently, and have an expert team in place and in communication then why is college more important? If you feel pressured, or exhausted, or trapped, keep this in mind:

During November break is when I get the most emails and calls - from families who now realize their hand-wringing worries were well-founded and a shaky recovery is now an derailing relapse.

Recovery - full recovery - first. School can wait.