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Last modified: Tuesday, 08-Nov-2011 16:27:48 EST

University Counseling Center (UCC)

Eating Concerns

Title: Surviving an Eating Disorder: Strategies for Family and Friends
Author: Michelle Siegel, Judith Brisman, and Margot Weinshel
Publisher: New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Publication Date: 1997
ISBN: 0-06-095233-4

This book is a clear, informative guide written for parents, spouses, friends, etc. who seek to understand what an individual suffering from an eating disorder is experiencing and to learn about how one can be most helpful in supporting a loved one through treatment. It is focused on recovery - not only for the eating-disordered individual, but also for the recovery of loved ones and the relationships involved. The book is separated into three parts. Part I, "Gaining Perspective", discusses the psychological components of eating disorders so as to broaden one's understanding of the sufferer and his or her experiences.

In Part II, "Confronting the Problem", the authors provide guidance for discussing the eating disorder with the sufferer, helping the individual get into treatment, and managing one's own feelings of confusion, helplessness, anger, and denial. Part III, "Using New Strategies", illustrates the specifics of what can be done to make the situation better, primarily by disengaging from the eating disorder and establishing a new relationship with the eating-disordered individual. This book is a great introduction to learning about eating disorders and the effects of eating disorders on the sufferer and her or his loved ones. Also included in the book are several references for information, support organizations, and professional help. While some individuals who suffer(ed) from eating disorders themselves found this book useful, others have suggested that it is "not for sufferers" but exclusively for loved ones.

Title: Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman's Tragic Quest for Thinness
Author: Mary Pipher
Publisher: New York: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 1995
ISBN: 0-345-41393-8

This book examines the enormous psychological and physical costs women pay when they hate their bodies. Pipher emphasizes how our appearance-based culture supports common misconceptions about the idealized body type that is impossible for most real women to achieve. The book offers valuable information, counsel, and practical solutions to help individuals suffering with eating disorders. It focuses on the issues an eating-disordered individual faces regarding food, weight, body image, and dieting. Pipher offers specific information on three eating disorders: Bulimia, Anorexia, and Obesity. The discussion of Bulimia includes case examples, origins of the disorder, how the disorder effects women, and suggestions for fighting the disorder. The chapters on Anorexia include case examples, physical and psychological symptoms of the disorder, causes of anorexia, treatment suggestions, and the influence of culture on anorexia. The discussion of Obesity covers personality traits associated with the disorder, complications of dieting, causes of obesity, the effects of culture, the high costs of being heavy, reasons why people "hate fat", and suggestions for fighting the disorder. This book offers several theories about how eating disorders evolve and clear suggestions for confronting and conquering an eating disorder.

Reviews completed by the University Counseling Center staff.

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