Dr. Patricia Pitts Elaborates on Good Morning America Expert Feature

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Shares How Negative Body Image Comments Can Trigger Eating Disorders

Eating disorder expert Dr. Patricia Pitts, Ph.D., CEO & Clinical Director of The Bella Vita, was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America’s January 5, 2014 segment, “Kesha Battles Eating Disorder, Checks Into Rehab.” Dr. Pitts’ brief sound bite, “In her [Ke$ha’s] world, there is a lot of focus on her image and how she looks”, details how celebrities, like Ke$ha, are under pressure to meet the societal and media standards of beauty and uphold body image “ideals”. TMZ.com reported that one of their sources says, “…Kesha complained… during a music video shoot in 2012, her music producer, Dr. Luke told her she, “looks like a f***ing refrigerator”… and the singer was profoundly affected by it.”

After the on-air interview, Dr. Pitts elaborated further on how other and reported comments, such as Dr. Luke’s, can start or unveil a dormant disorder. She shared, “Exposure to negative body image and/or “fat shaming” comments can lead someone, especially who has a genetic, psychological and environmental predisposition, vulnerable to developing an eating disorder; this is one of the biggest misconceptions about eating disorders.” What does this mean? Research has shown that someone with a family history of eating disorders can be easily influenced to engage in unhealthy eating behaviors to meet body image “ideals” and develops an eating disorder in the process.

Dr. Pitts shared, “Ke$ha deserves acknowledgment for being courageous to check herself into treatment for her eating disorder.” “Ke$ha’s statement that she is, “…seeking treatment for my eating disorder to learn to love myself again. Exactly as I am.” is powerful. Ke$ha is putting her health first, especially during such a pivotal stage in her career.” Dr. Pitts said.

Celebrities, like Ke$ha, have a massive following of fans and supporters. What many people forget is that Ke$ha is a regular person first, then a celebrity. These fans may not be aware of the warning signs that can be present with themselves or someone with an eating disorder. Here is an example of how an eating disorder can be exhibited and warning signs to watch out for: (1) The individual received, complained about and believed external negative body image comment(s); (2) Their internal thoughts and feeling about their body image is devaluing; (3) The person engages in unhealthy behaviors to avoid external negative body image comments; and (4) They exhibit a drastic shift in weight.

Anyone seeking eating disorder treatment should consult with an eating disorder specialist. At The Bella Vita, individuals are initially assessed to determine their level of care based upon their diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan is developed which includes meal planning and fitness. Treatment for significant recovery requires a stay or more than 30 days. Dr. Pitts shares, “For those suffering from an eating disorder, there is hope. By my early twenties, I was freed of my own eating disorder. In my 30 years of treating eating disorders, I have seen thousands of lives transformed. Food does not have to control people’s lives. In a caring and safe environment, healing does take place. As individuals learn and practice effective skills, they leave old unhealthy patterns behind and their new healthy lifestyles emerge. This is why I love what I do and passionately share it with others.”

About The Bella Vita
The Bella Vita offers a multi-faceted approach to healing eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder for our clients while providing a safe and supportive environment that helps each client to bring a healthy balance back into their life. This program works to uncover the underlying cause of the eating disorder while addressing co-occurring conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma and alcohol and drug addiction. The Bella Vita is a CARF accredited program with transitional living, and several residential and outpatient treatment centers in Los Angeles, La Canada Flintridge, San Marino, Woodland Hills, and Thousand Oaks. For more information, visit http://www.thebellavita.com or call our 24/7 intake line for program and admissions questions 818-585-1775.

For all media inquiries, please contact Melissa Moss at 323-255-0400.

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