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“Only young women get sick” is just one misconception that people believe when it comes to eating disorders. Healthista spoke with nutritionist Jane Clarke about the myths we all need to know about.
Eating disorders are responsible for more deaths than any other mental illness.
In fact, in the UK alone, between 1.25 and 3.4 million have eating disorders.
In a speech by the Queen earlier in May, the UK government announced plans to have restaurants, cafes and pubs include calorie counting on their menus by April 2022 to combat obesity.
While many see it as a positive plan to tackle obesity, it has also sparked an outcry among those frustrated and shocked by the government’s lack of sensitivity and attention to people suffering from or suffering from eating disorders.
Between 1.25 and 3.4 million have eating disorders in the UK.
Many petitions have appeared on the Internet, one of which has collected over 18,000 signatures.
Beat, eating disorder charity and their Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Radford, spoke in the debate, saying: “The requirement for calorie counting on menus can cause serious distress for people with or are vulnerable to eating disorders, as data shows that calorie labeling exacerbates eating disorders of all kinds. “.
With the upcoming introduction of menu calories, it is more important than ever that we are educated and learned about the signs of eating disorders, and dispelled many of the myths surrounding the disease.
Healthista spoke with nutritionist Jane Clarke about myths and misconceptions surrounding eating disorders …
Myth # 1 that your weight should be in the ideal range
We, as a society, have such a distorted view of beauty and well-being. We are presented with role models that are below average weight, but which may or may not be healthy.
While the body mass index is increasingly viewed as simplistic and imprecise as it makes no distinction between muscle mass, bone density, and body fat.
Unsurprisingly, body problems are a problem.
we have such a distorted view of beauty and well-being
“Someone living with an eating disorder may forever strive to lose weight in search of the ideal value on a scale that decreases even as their bodies become more fragile,” explains Clarke.
At the same time, their treatment will focus on achieving a certain weight as a measure of recovery.
“The moment a person with an eating disorder reaches the prescribed healthy weight can be the most difficult time for them, as their body does not feel like their own.
“ If a person can achieve a weight at which they are physiologically healthy and on a nutritious diet, then I believe that being at the lower end of the weight range is better than reaching ideal weight, than rapidly descending into a state of exhaustion, as before. they relapse out of fear and anxiety. “
Myth number 2: getting someone to eat foods to gain weight will solve the problem
If it were as easy as encouraging someone to eat more high-calorie foods, then there would be no more eating disorders. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
“Eating disorders are cunning and unrelenting mental health problems that require all-round support,” says Clarke.
“The gold standard, of course, for those struggling with their nutrition should have access to clinical psychologists and medical specialists in this area.
But many of these services are currently under enormous pressure, putting even more pressure on families trying to care for their loved ones who have nutritional problems.
encouraging them to eat more in a more benign mode that will be easier for them
“The goal is still for the person to gain weight, but perhaps you can make a lighter meal — a hearty soup or a hearty salad — and eat it together.
‘Or that they are sipping on a fresh fruit smoothie or one of my natural Nutritious drinksmade with real fruits, organic milk and added vitamins and minerals between meals.
This way, your loved one will get good food inside his body, and you will not disconnect the lines of communication between you.
“You can gently lean on this to encourage them to eat more and in a more gentle way that makes it easier for them.”
Myth # 3 Only young women are affected by eating disorders.
Much attention – and rightly so – has focused on the shocking increase in the number of children and young people who develop eating disorders during isolation.
This, unfortunately, shows that this is not only a problem for young women; studies show that up to a quarter of people with eating disorders are men.
studies show that up to a quarter of people with eating disorders are men.
“Over the years, I have treated many adults who are struggling with classic anorexic behavior,” says Clarke.
“Middle age brings all of its emotional problems with it, and the body changes in ways that can be frustrating. If a person struggled with an eating disorder early in their life, they may again raise their ugly head.
“In old age, a person may feel unable to control their health and life, relying on others for physical and practical help, and one of the ways to show independence is to eat poorly.
“It can also be a way for those struggling with loneliness and anxiety to get the attention of relatives and healthcare workers.”
Myth number 4. Appearance can tell if someone has an eating disorder.
A bloated face and dental problems can be a sign of bulimia. Although the stunningly thin bodies are alarming.
“People who start fasting when they are overweight may be at risk of all metabolic complications caused by inadequate nutrition.” shows Clark.
“Eating disorders affect every part of the body, from the heart and digestive system to the brain, bones and hormones, but it’s not obvious just by looking at a person.
“In contrast, erratic eating behavior can be a sign of a problem.”
Myth 5: once you gain your ideal weight, everything will be fine.
Eating disorders trigger frightening self-talk. Along with this comes brain fog caused by severe malnutrition.
As part of the recovery, the mind becomes clearer and more receptive, allowing for a more balanced approach to eating.
When someone is underweight – whether due to an eating disorder or other condition such as cancer – the well-meaning (and medical) mantra may be that you can eat what you like, provided that you you’re getting enough calories inside of you, ”Clarke explains.
part of recovery is making the mind clearer and more receptive
“But eating well is so important. For me, this means eating real food made from fresh, natural ingredients.
“This could include eating whole grains, which provide energy, fiber and vital vitamins; include protein in every meal to satisfy appetite and provide nutrients to repair damaged organs and restore strength; and include healthy fats like olive oil, which nourish the brain, protect the heart, and improve mental health.
“If you are supporting a loved one, you also need to be prepared for signs of relapse. These will vary from person to person, but may include hesitation in food choices, unwillingness to eat, or increased physical activity.
“A soft question can show that you have noticed and are caring and help them focus on caring for their bodies again.”
Jane Clarke (Hons) SRD DSc, Founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke) is a Cordon Bleu Nutritionist and Chef with over 30 years of experience in the food industry.
Jane is the author of nine best-selling books and has been a columnist for over a decade. The daily mail, Observer, Time as well as Mail on Sunday, and regularly participates in TV shows.
She worked with Jamie Oliver on several of his projects, including the school feeding revolution, which showed that human power can lead to social change.
It is with the same mindset and passion that she runs the Nourish by Jane Clarke program, which offers solutions to malnutrition and empowers and inspires those who are vulnerable or facing health problems.
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