BED affects thousands of people worldwide, but very few people outside of professional treatment circles know the illness even exists.
There are no lifetime movies about Binge Eating Disorder, or BED as it is commonly called. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, which have both been covered in the news, books, movies, and online first-hand accounts of recovery, Binge Eating Disorder flies way under the radar. And yet, according to the article Eating disorders as a public health emergency, written back in 2006, up to 5% of women worldwide engage in binge eating.
According to NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association of the United States, BED is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating, without the purging after the binge that accompanies bulimia. A binge is defined by two traits:
Eating a larger than normal amount in a set period of time
A sense of lack of control over the bingeing and being unable to stop.
In addition, the binge eating episodes are associated with several of other characteristics:
Eating more rapidly than normal
Eating until uncomfortably full
Eating large amounts of food despite not feeling hungry
Eating alone out of embarrassment
Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after a binge
This post was originally posted on OfficeMum.ie in Ireland and has been reposted here with permission from the author Andrea Mara. Thanks, Andrea!
To support our latest international campaign, see below for links to all eight unique linked petitions and spread the word using #SurgeryIsNotaGame
Like many parents today, what little I know about online games I’ve learned from my kids, and most of what mine have played so far have ranged from clever to educational to downright silly. But one game stopped me in my tracks when my nine-year-old showed it to me recently – it was a plastic surgery simulator game that had come up on her Kindle when she searched for ‘free games for kids’.
To show me how it works, she carried out cosmetic surgery on her (animated) patient’s nose. This involved marking where the incision should go, using a scalpel to cut into the skin, moving a bone inside the nose, then gluing and stitching up the wound. And once that game was over, some of the other suggestions included ‘Pregnant Mommy’s Surgery – Caesarean Simulator Game’ – I kid you not.
I was really surprised that the cosmetic surgery game existed at all – I mean, who wants to play a game that simulates cutting into skin and delving into someone’s nose – but I was particularly surprised to see it marketed to kids. Not only is it graphic and gross, it’s also sending a really negative message to little girls. Don’t like how you look? Just go under the knife – because you are nothing beyond your appearance.
People of all sizes, including fat people, should be able to exist and thrive in the world without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression regardless of why they are the size they are, what being that size means, or if they could become a different size.
That statement should be so obvious that it never has to be said. Unfortunately, in a world where creating body hatred is incredibly profitable, and where anti-fat sentiment runs roughshod over the lives and happiness of so many fat people, it can’t be said enough.
The desire to have a better relationship with our bodies, and to support the diversity of body sizes, is an important first step, but there are many steps after that. They include steps that we may take to evolve in our relationships with our bodies, to unlearn the stigmatization of bodies that we have been taught by our culture, and to fight back against the messages that our bodies aren’t amazing and worthy at any size. Enter the Fat Activism Conference.
It’s normal to indulge every now and again, and I’m not averse to that. I might decide to eat a sugary doughnut, or a slice of cheesy pizza – but the problem is that one is never enough. Or at least at that moment it isn’t. Ah, that magical moment when I am transported to a world of ecstasy. Salt! Sugar! Grease! Uncontrollably I stuff myself, because only when the food has disappeared will the terrible temptation stop. Only when it’s all gone will I fall back down to earth and the horror of what I have just done will dawn on me. I will be shocked at my lack of self-control, baffled by my single-minded behavior which I know I will have to punish myself for. But as I said, it’s not rational. I’m addicted. This I know because after the high of eating has worn off, the feeling will be replaced by a crushing sense of guilt. Why am I so greedy? Why can’t I stop myself? I'm making myself fat.
If I told you I recently came across a boutique where none of its dresses fit over my head would you believe me? If you’re a woman who wears a US size 8/10 or higher and who’s lived in Argentina for any length of time, you certainly would. In fact, you’d probably share a story or two of your own. After residing for more than a decade in Buenos Aires, I should know better than to even consider buying clothes in the country, especially considering I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep my wardrobe topped up on my regular Toronto trips to visit family and friends. However, every once in a while I succumb to the temptation of a pretty piece displayed in a store window, knowing full well I’ll need to shore up my self-esteem before reaching the changeroom. If it doesn’t fit me—and more often than not it doesn’t—I remind myself that my body isn’t defective, it’s the Argentine fashion industry that needs reform. And that’s something my team, AnyBody Argentina—the Argentine chapter of Endangered Bodies, an international organization that challenges the culture that teaches us to hate our own bodies—also understands.
I´m launching my book: “And Were They Thin and Happy Ever After? The Ways Out of Compulsive Eating”.
Everything started in 1988. I was on vacation, at the beach, with another diet going wrong, when I found a book with a weird name: “Fat is a Feminist Issue”. When I read it, important issues of my life got new meaning as I´ve always struggled with food and body issues.
Nutrition did not make much sense to me during my graduation until I did an internship at the eating disorders outpatient treatment in Sao Paulo, and started to be interested in the emotional and social aspects of eating. I was especially interested in body image and its influence on eating behavior. I joined endangered bodies in 2011 to have contact with other people involved with body issues and diet mentality concepts, as described by Susie Orbach in the book "Fat is a feminist issue."
Our global campaign #FatIsNotAFeeling in which we asked Facebook to remove the ‘I feel fat’ emoticon has raised many interesting questions and issues among our followers and critics. One of these issues is the effect of negative body talk – or, as in many cases: fat talk – in society in general and in social media specifically.
By Deirdre Cowman, Director of Endangered Bodies Ireland
In January 2014, body image activists ran a successful campaign to remove plastic surgery games aimed at young girls from iTunes. When campaigners flooded twitter with anger over the damaging messages these games promoted, Apple quietly removed the games in question from their app store. However, it appears that the problem hasn’t gone away.
Screengrab of a Cinderella surgery game available on Mafa.com
Just a few days ago, a blog post on Collective Shout drew our attention to a whole host of equally problematic games that are freely available online from games site Mafa.com. The author of the post, Melinda Liszewski has points out several disturbing features of the site including:
- a "game" in which you have to make Britney’s legs prettier
- a "game" where pregnant women come to the hospital with clear signs of having suffered domestic violence, like black eyes, cuts etc.
- a "game" in which a girl wants to look as pretty as a Disney character and you can help her in achieving this dream with plastic surgery (of course)
- a "game" where you can choose the avatar of a nurse, police officer or teacher and learn how to strip
The word spread quickly yesterday morning: From Germany to the UK and Ireland, across the Atlantic to the USA, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico and further across the Pacific to Australia. What had happened? The activists from the German chapter of Endangered Bodies proceeded their usual morning routine: preparing some fruit and muesli for breakfast, putting the tea kettle on the stove, turning on the computer and logging on to Facebook. But something was different.
When we routinely and still a little tired checked the 'feeling emoticons' in the status update on Facebook, the emoticon for 'I feel fat' was gone. Excited, but still not sure if we had actually reached the goal of our campaign #FatIsNotAFeeling in less than two weeks, we asked our international colleagues to double check. And while the word spread around the globe, having one EB-chapter after the other waking up to the news, it became clear: Facebook had listened to us, to the nine young women who had become our petition starters, to the almost 17,000 voices of the people who had signed our petition.
Besucht AnyBody Deutschland auf Facebook, folgt uns auf Twitter @AnyBody_de und kontaktiert uns gerne per Mail, wenn ihr euch mit uns gemeinsam engagieren möchtet oder Fragen zu uns und unseren Projekten habt:
kontakt ät anybodydeutschland . de
Wir freuen uns auf euch!