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Press Release | Health

Press Release: Addictive and Binge Eating Are Eating Disorders Too!

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Next week February 6-12, 2011 is Eating Disorders Week in Canada.  But it binge eaters and food addicts are not usually really acknowledged, despite being a huge group of people with significant eating disorders.

Nancy Anderson Dolan

WiseHeart Wellness Services



For Immediate Release: February 2, 2011

Bulimics and anorexics are not the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders.  EDNOS is.  The acronym stands for Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified in the DSM 4.  So most food addicts and binge eaters end up lumped in this non-descript category, this despite the epidemic of overeating and obesity that is reported every day in North American countries.

Former binge eater and food addict Nancy Anderson Dolan can tell you that it is seriously disordered eating and that the addiction perspective can contribute a great deal to effective treatment.

There is reluctance in the eating disorder community to address food addiction because of the negativity of the label and the inherent difficulties in identifying what substances and behaviours are actually addictive and should be abstained from. People can't just stop eating. Eating disorders like addictions are notoriously difficult to treat with high recidivism, as weight loss endeavours prove and over.

While it is laudable to encourage people to be happy whatever size they are addictive eating patterns are not dispelled by this approach. There are complex biological, psychological and sociological roots to the problem that must be addressed for the food addict to be healing and happy.

Recognizing the complexity of the problem is key to crafting effective assessments and treatments. Because of the reluctance to use the addiction label, key elements are often overlooked. When the entire problem is not addressed in treatment there is a lack of lasting success and sometimes even a worsening of the condition.

Anderson-Dolan reports that a 2009 global summit she attended, gathering together top researchers, authors, clinicians and food addicts convinced her of the brain function foundation of food addiction problems that were fed by the psychological consequences and sociological perspectives.

The consequences of binge eating and obesity is are issues that are not well dealt with, with interventions ranging from strict diet and boot camp exercise to wide open compassionate acceptance of all eating, approaches that both have their limitations but some value as well. So without further specification that takes it out of the ENDOS category and results in further investigation these complex problems will continue to be treated ineffectively.

Anderson Dolan urges Calgary citizens that struggle with food addiction, binge eating and obesity to join the Alberta Health Services “Let’s Walk About It” Eating Disorders Week event to make known the full spectrum of eating disorders. The walk takes place February 6, 2011 1:30-2:30 at Eau Claire Plaza, Calgary.

Anderson Dolan will also be hosting a free Teleseminar “Living With 100lb Weight Loss” accessible nationally, featuring people that have maintained 100+lb weight loss Monday February 7, 2011. People can register at to listen in or download the call.



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Author: Lynda
Feb 02, 2011
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
Good morning
I am very intereted in your work. I have lived with obesity for most of my life until I became a member of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous in 2002. I have maintained a weight loss of 70 pounds. The fellowship is a wonderful support for a variety of eating disorders and has helped many people. We truly do understand that binge eating is a serious problem. I am wondering if there are people who we could be helping? We also recognize how complicated this is and that much work is needed to be done - mentally and emotionally. We do have a website ( and we meet three times per week in Calgary. Our meeting time and locations are on the website. My phone number is 403-540-5813.

Thank you for your time and I do hope that we can help others who are suffering with physical and mental pain.
Lynda T

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