2017 iaedp Symposium Reveals Need for Balance Between Help and Harm in Treatment of Childhood Eating Disorders

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In the presentation, “Help Without Harming...A Fine Balance in the Treatment of Childhood Eating-And-Weight Related Behaviors,” Carolyn Hodges Chaffee, MSRDN, CEDRD and Mary Bucknam, RPAC reveal how clinicians can identify the shared risk factors for both obesity and eating disorders.

Childhood obesity has tripled since 1980, and according to the CDC, one in six children are obese. The Mayo Clinic reports one-third of adolescents diagnosed with an eating disorder initially were overweight or obese. Now there is grave concern that messages promoting health and well-being can trigger an eating disorder. In the presentation, “Help Without Harming...A Fine Balance in the Treatment of Childhood Eating-And-Weight Related Behaviors,” Carolyn Hodges Chaffee, MSRDN, CEDRD and Mary Bucknam, RPAC reveal how clinicians can identify the shared risk factors for both obesity and eating disorders.                                                        

Presenters Chaffee and Bucknam will show clinicians how to identify the shared risk factors for both obesity and eating disorders through an integrated approach which addresses health promotion for all youth and reduces the risk of the development of unhealthy behaviors.

The presentation is slated for opening day of the 2017 iaedp Symposium in Las Vegas at the Green Valley Ranch and Spa during March 23 – 26. Early registration rates are still available and can be found at iaedp.com.

The topic is a complex problem and controversial among obesity experts and eating disorder clinicians. Well-intentioned school-based programs such as label reading, diet analysis, and body mass index testing are looked at by many obesity experts as a way to address the obesity epidemic. However, according to Chaffee, to the child who is at “high risk of developing an eating disorder, it can lead to the development of an obsession about food and weight.”                                        

During the presentation, Chaffee and Bucknam will point out that while annual physicals are meant to be healthy interventions and not to trigger eating disorder behaviors, for many, their eating disorder is linked to these visits.

Public health research suggests all children need a mindful, integrated approach to addressing eating and weight-related concerns by focusing on health not weight. Studies suggest obesity prevention and treatment approaches integrate strategies used to prevent and treat eating disorders. Addressing these concerns from a prevention focus will reduce the risk of trying to treat one problem without causing another.

About iaedp: Established in 1985, iaedp is recognized for its excellence in providing education and training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of healthcare treatment providers who treat the full spectrum of eating disorder problems, from anorexia to bulimia to binge eating and obesity. The organization offers a rigorous certification process for those who wish to receive specialized credentials in their work with people with eating disorders. For more information about iaedp, visit http://www.iaedp.com.

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Susan Lomelino
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