A to Z: Eating Disorders

Seung Min Ko, Katie (Yu Rim) Lee

Tip of the Week: How to prevent Eating disorders

Discourage the idea that a particular diet, weight, or body size will automatically lead to happiness and fulfillment!

Challenge the false belief that thinness, weight and muscularity loss are desirable while body fat and weight gain are shameful!

What are Eating Disorders?

An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious detriment to your everday diet that involve either insufficient or excessive food intake. There are four common specific forms of eating disorders: Anorexia nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia nervosa, and Eating disorder not Otherwise Specified.

People with Anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight, even when their weights are severly underweight. They are obessivley concered with eating and weight control.

People with Binge Eating Disorder lose control over their eating, Unlike Bulimia nervosa described below, Binge Eating is not followed by excessive exercise, fasting, or forced vomiting.

People with Bulimia nervosa have frequent binge eatings followed by excessive exercise, fasting, or purging.

People with Eating disorder not Otherwise Specified have both Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa sympthoms.

What causes Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders do not occur by a single cause. Although concerns about weight and body shaple play a great role in all Eating disorders, the actual cause is a combination of behavioral, biological, genetic, psychological, and social factors.

Resarchers are studying various combinations of genes to determine if any specific DNA variations are linked to the risk of development in Eating disorders. Neuroimaging studies are also providing a better understanding eating disorders and possible treatments. One study showed different patterns of brain activity between women with Eating disorders and women who were healthy. Researchers were able to see the differences in brain activity using the fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imagning) while subjects performed a task that involved automatic response.

Psychotherapic interventions found that more adolescents with Bulimia nervosa recovered after reciving 'Maudsley model family-based treatment' than those who recieved supportive psychotherapy that did not specify Eating disorders.


Treating Eating disorders

Adequate nutrition, decrease in excessive exercising, and stopping purging behaviors are the foundations of treatment. Specific forms of psychotherapy, talk therapy, and medication are also effectvie. Because treating Eating disorders include restoring the person to a healthy weight, treating the psychological issues, and eliminating behaviors and thoughts that lead to insufficient eating.

Classic Greek Salad


  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 12 to 14 small vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 5 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 4-ounce block Greek feta cheese, packed in brine
  • Fresh oregano leaves, for topping (optional)
  • Soak the red onion in a bowl of heavily salted ice water, 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, lemon zest and juice, honey, dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified. Add the tomatoes and olives and toss.

Peel the cucumbers, leaving alternating strips of green peel. Trim the ends, halve lengthwise and slice crosswise, about 1/2 inch thick; add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Drain the red onion, add to the bowl and toss.

Drain the feta and slice horizontally into 4 even rectangles. Divide the salad among plates. Top with the feta and oregano; drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper.