A blog about eating disorders and recovery in a modern world

Experts Say Anorexia Treatment In The U.S. Is In A “Crisis” — Here’s Why

While recent media has focused on the spike in eating disorders among adolescents during the pandemic, a silent and equally devastating problem has been building - expensive, unproven, failing treatment models.

Eating Disorders and Alcohol Use: The Unexpected Connections

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 50% of individuals with eating disorders have also abused alcohol or illicit drugs. Perhaps what’s even more surprising is what that statistic means: the rate of substance abuse in people with eating disorders is five times higher than in the general population. The numbers go both ways, as well: 35% of individuals with substance use issues have also had an eating disorder (eleven times higher than the general population).

Eating Disorders and Alcohol Use: The Unexpected Connections

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 50% of individuals with eating disorders have also abused alcohol or illicit drugs. Perhaps what’s even more surprising is what that statistic means: the rate of substance abuse in people with eating disorders is five times higher than in the general population. The numbers go both ways, as well: 35% of individuals with substance use issues have also had an eating disorder (eleven times higher than the general population).

Practical Tips on How to Support a Positive Relationship with Food

Have you ever wondered how family and friends influence our relationship with food, physical activity, and body image? When it comes to eating behavior, you may be surprised to learn that peer influence is actually much less impactful than the influence of parents.

How to Listen to Your Body's Cues and Identify Hunger and Fullness

While you may be having trouble understanding your natural signals now, your body has been sending you all kinds of different cues to help you identify specific needs since the time you were born. Think about babies: when they’re hungry or tired, they cry. Since these tiny humans aren’t able to figure out what they want, crying is their only way of communicating distress. It makes sense, right? But as we move through life, certain obstacles can interfere with this simple system.

How Can Interoceptive Meditation Help Your Recovery?

“Interoception” is a fancy way of referring to our awareness of what’s happening within our bodies. For example, when we have interoceptive awareness, we can sense and label our body’s hunger, thirst, or fullness.

Eating disorders in males part II: Co-occurring illnesses

As discussed in my previous blog post, although many perceive eating disorders to overwhelmingly affect women, about one in three people with an eating disorder identify as male (1). Furthermore, eating disorders are particularly prevalent in the trans community (2). In this post I’ll explore frequent co-occurring illnesses (comorbidities) that are common in men with eating disorders are more often the rule than the exception. The most common co-occurring mental illnesses are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance use disorders. The presence of these other disorders can make eating disorders more chronic and difficult to treat (3).

Dispelling eating disorder myths 2: “I’m an athlete. So it’s normal that I don’t get regular periods, right?”

Dr. Katherine Hill is a board-certified pediatrician who completed her undergraduate, MD degree, and pediatric residency at Stanford. Prior to Equip, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford, caring for adolescents with eating disorders in the inpatient and outpatient settings. A former collegiate swimmer, her research has focused on eating disorders in athletes.  

Why do New Year's Resolutions revolve around weight, anyway?

A “resolution” on its own is not inherently good or bad, but somehow New Year's Resolutions have turned into a focus on getting into a gym routine or starting a new fad diet. At some point, this was likely a reaction to perceived (or real) weight gain during the holidays.

The benefits of conducting virtual therapy sessions for people with eating disorders

Prior to Equip, Tara Deliberto, PhD was an assistant professor at the medical college of Cornell University, where she created/directed NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Eating Disorders Partial Hospital Program. She also authored Treating Eating Disorders in Adolescents published by New Harbinger. Her research has been widely cited and has been discussed in major media outlets such as TIME. 

Eating disorders in males part 1: Epidemiology and gender differences in eating disorder presentation

Sam spent his undergraduate years at Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in Psychology and Biology, before matriculating at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. At Einstein, he received the Einstein Service and Research Scholarship and the Dean’s Recognition Award, and he graduated with distinction in basic/translational research. As a psychiatry resident at Columbia University he was awarded the APA Leadership Fellowship, the Austen Riggs Award for Excellence in Psychotherapy, and he was selected to be a chief resident. He has treated patients with eating disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings and has received additional training in DBT. He now serves as Medical Director at Equip.

What we mean by “eating disorders are brain disorders”

Anyone who’s ever dealt with an eating disorder or supported a loved one as they’ve navigated the challenging, frustrating, and potentially life-threatening journey through an ED (eating disorder) knows one thing for certain: there is no shortage of misinformation out there about these diseases. People still believe eating disorders are rooted in superficiality or that these illnesses are a choice — neither assertion could be further from the truth. The myths around anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are pervasive and persistent and they continue to detract from the reality of these illnesses: eating disorders are brain disorders and as such, require the kinds of effective, targeted therapeutic strategies that Equip uses.

Dispelling eating disorder myths: Can you tell if someone has an eating disorder just by looking at them?

Dr. Katherine Hill is a board-certified pediatrician who completed her undergraduate, MD degree, and pediatric residency at Stanford. Prior to Equip, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford, caring for adolescents with eating disorders in the inpatient and outpatient settings. A former collegiate swimmer, her research has focused on eating disorders in athletes.  

Equip Treatment: How we took the best eating disorder treatment option available—FBT—and improved it

JD is Equip's Director of Mentorship. She is an educator turned Family Mentor whose youngest child developed anorexia in 2012; they received cutting edge, evidence-based treatment at UC San Diego, igniting JD’s passion to ensure all families have access to evidence-based care. She became active in online family support communities, writing, and began attending and speaking at conferences.  She is a board member for FEAST.

Why dietitians are an essential ingredient to treatment

Why we took the best eating disorder treatment available—FBT—and improved it

As you read this, your most pressing question is likely, how do I help my loved one and my family beat this eating disorder now and forever? The short answer is that Equip took the most effective treatment model available for eating disorders, incorporated components of other tried-and-true behavioral therapies, and also added mentorship from patients and family members who have recovered from eating disorders—people like myself.