This last Saturday, I participated on a panel organized by the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) and presented at the National Eating Disorders Association annual meeting. Chevese Turner, founder and CEO of BEDA, opened the panel by telling her story of binge eating and why she founded the organization. Kim Brownley, professor and researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reviewed research on various aspects of binge eating, including the fascinating area of the role gut hormones play in hunger and satiety. Amy Pershing of the Bodywise Binge Eating Disorder Recovery program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, gave an excellent overview of the etiology and many dimensions of treatment of binge eating disorder. I wrapped the panel up with a look at the Health at Every Size philosophy as a basis for helping binge eaters who also struggle with weight issues.
The panel inspired in me an eagerness to learn more about what researchers are discovering, especially regarding the neuroscience of binge eating, and a commitment to more collaboration with others working to help binge eaters.
I was also once again heartened by the dedication of people like Chevese Turner to helping bring the problem of binge eating into the light, to inspire more research in the area and discover treatments that work. Binge eating disorder is the most prevalent eating disorder, three times more prevalent than anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa combined. Yet it is only expected to receive classification as a distinct eating disorder in the next edition of the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is important to receive insurance coverage for treatment of problem. The next edition is expected in 2013.
In the meantime, BEDA will continue its excellent work, not the least of which will be its second annual conference next March: Coming into the Light: Strategies and Hope for Recovery in BED and Associated Conditions. I was privileged to serve on the planning committee for the conference, as well as on the board of directors for the organization, and am excited about the excellent program we've planned. Green Mountain will also be there as an exhibitor and sustaining sponsor of the organization. It doesn't hurt that it will be in Arizona, just when we Vermonters are ready for a little break from the winter. :)
Consider taking a break yourself and join us at the conference. There will be an individual/ family and friends track as well as one for treatment providers.