Chat Room and Online Lectures for Heavy Set Adults Give New Meaning to the Term “Diet”

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A psychologist who treats Anorexia and Bulimia developes a website to help educate the public about the link between eating diosrders and obesity.

A psychologist who has been treating Anorexia and Bulimia for many years is offering online lectures and chat rooms designed to educate adults about the link between eating disorders and obesity. Dr. Gina Scarano-Osika began exploring this link a few years ago and her efforts have culminated in a new approach to treating compulsive overeating, which she will share with the general public later this week.    

“The treatment of obesity is very complex and people need individual attention. I want to tell people what I know about treating eating disorders so that they can begin to understand why they overeat”. Dr. Osika encourages her patients to look at the biological, physiological, personality and social factors that lead to compulsive overeating. She has taken interventions used to treat Anorexia and Bulimia and tailored them to help obese and overweight patients understand their impulse to overeat and override what they know they should do.    

Dr. Scarano-Osika has been treating eating disorders since 1990. In both her clinical practice and research she recognizes that their exist many varying “subclinical” eating disorders which warrant attention. “In treating these subclinical syndromes, we may be able to prevent the more life threatening illnesses such as obesity and anorexia…..and because these subclinical conditions are less acute, intervention by an eating disorder specialist may not be needed” says Dr. Osika.

In addition to offering educational sessions, Dr. Osika’s website includes a chat room for adults in which they can receive support as they work through lessons and cope with the stigma of being overweight. Dr. Scarano-Osika states “Obese folks feel stigmatized and sometimes ignored, which can lead to all kinds of mood disorders and social phobia….especially for teens, obesity is a very isolating and lonely illness.” Online chats are manageable and less threatening ways for these folks to socialize,” says Osika. “Chat rooms provide even bedridden folks with a manageable social outlet so that they can feel less alone and isolated, while also working a program to help them understand their impulse to overeat….With a little education and a lot of support from others, anything can be possible for a heavyset person”.    

Dr. Osika’s weekly online lecture series will convene each Monday evening at 9:00 pm eastern standard time. Her first lecture/chat is scheduled for the evening of Monday August 1, 2005. Online lectures/support are available at

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