This week is BED Week. BED stands for binge eating disorder, and it’s a struggle we’re all too familiar with at Green Mountain. Researchers say approximately 30 to 40% of people who enter weight loss treatment programs have BED.
What’s the Link Between Weight Loss & BED?
A large part of the reason so many weight strugglers have BED is because diets are the go-to strategy for people who struggle with weight. Yet dieting is at the core of BED for many (most?) people, either triggering or exacerbating the problem. It certainly is for the women who come to Green Mountain. The vast majority have been on and off too many diets, only to end up confused about how to feed themselves well, and how take care of themselves. And many have ended up with BED, although they often don’t know that’s what they’re struggling with. They think they’re just weak-willed instead, or some other belief that points to them as being failures.
Fortunately, since Green Mountain was founded 40 years ago this summer, our program has offered true help for the women who come to us struggling with BED. That’s because our program has always been non-diet — we know dieting leads to more struggles around food, weight and body. For four decades, we’ve offered a program that guides women instead on how to eat — mindfully and intuitively. We also work to help women discover ways to move their bodies that feel good, as physical activity is a key ingredient in feeling and being well. And we also work on all those sticky areas that weight struggles and BED are known for — emotional eating (which BED is a form of), body image, self esteem, stress management.
But Enough About Us!
I really wanted to tell you about BED Week, which I was so pleased to be a part of. BED Week is an online campaign tha is the brainchild of Lizabeth Wesely-Casella of BingeBehavior.com. She launched it along with partners to coincide with the release of the fifth version of the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). The DSM-5 marks the official recognition of BED as an eating disorder. The campaign focuses on education (what is BED), preventing weight bias and stigma (including identifying bias, cultivating positive body image and legislative activism) and support (what types of help are available and where to find those resources).
A number of activities have gone on this week, but you can catch up on them here. Also, there have been some dynamite posts on the subject, including one from yours truly: Binge Eating Disorder: The What, Why and What it Takes to Treat It. Well, genuine humility makes me take the dynamite descriptor off my post but Amy Pershing’s on weight stigma is truly a must-read — Coming Home: Rescuing Our Bodies from Weight Stigma.
Want to add your voice to the effort? Read the Call to Action to find how how you can help prevent BED and encourage treatment for those who already have it.