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There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Understanding Eating Disorders in the Hispanic & Latinx Community

A woman sits in front of a computer

Our society continues to perpetuate the myth that eating disorders are an issue primarily affecting young, thin white women. While research on eating disorders in marginalized groups has improved, our society has a long way to go to truly understand the scope of eating disorders within underserved populations.  For example, though rates of binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa in the Hispanic community are often the same or greater than in non-Hispanic white communities, they often go undetected due to stereotypes about eating disorders (Alegria et al., 2007).

Racism is embedded in the world at large and trickles down to national and state levels, institutions, policies, procedures, and systems of care. Its presence also heavily predicts both mental and physical health outcomes. By educating ourselves on the lived experiences of Hispanic and Latinx Americans and learning how racism operates within the systems that provide services, we can build our collective cultural humility and ultimately improve access to care and health outcomes for this community.

Read on to learn the prevalence of eating disorders in the Hispanic and Latinx population, the factors that influence the development of these illnesses, and the barriers to treatment for this community. 

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Episode 77: A Collaborative Approach to Treatment with Beth Harrell

Beth Harrell

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, guest Beth Harrell, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD-S, discusses her experience in the eating disorder field, and reflects on how much eating disorder education and training has evolved since she got her start in the early 1990s. The bedrock of Beth’s career success is collaboration. She emphasizes the value of learning from clients’ lived experiences, as well as from the wisdom and vulnerability of fellow professionals. As a certified eating disorder supervisor, Beth debunks the notion that supervision is just case consultation. She guides from a place of mentorship and trauma-informed nutrition care, largely inspired by the perspective-broadening experiences she had with her own supervisors.

Beth is a collaborative and weight-inclusive nutrition professional who has worked with eating disorders, disordered eating, and chronic dieting for the past 30 years. Her work spans all levels of care, treating a full spectrum of diagnoses and ages. Beth’s passions are anything that includes learning and teaching. She has an educational podcast for eating disorder professionals (The SeasonED RD) and carries this knowledge into professional supervision, as well as a graduate elective course for dietitians each fall semester.

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How to Identify Signs of Suicide in Patients With Eating Disorders

Woman looking contemplative with her hands support her chin

Eating disorders impact about 30 million people in the United States. They are associated with high levels of premature mortality, including an increased risk for suicide. Without treatment, up to 20 percent of people with a serious eating disorder will die. Much like eating disorders, suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or any other demographic categorization. 

As providers, there are certain warning signs of suicidal thinking that you should be looking out for, as well as an appropriate way to approach someone when you spot these warning signs.

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Recovery Doesn’t Have to Be a Solo Journey

Megan Bazzini

**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.   

Megan Bazzini is a writer⁠—aspiring YA novelist, cringe-worthy poet, and mental health essayist. She’s now a business school grad, who has lived in LA, Hong Kong, and Milan. Now she’s returned home to New York and is a proud chihuahua rescue mom and corporate strategist at a major financial services institution. Megan’s eating disorder recovery mantra is, “Keep going. Recovery is worth it.” You can follow her on Twitter (@BazziniBooks) or visit her portfolio.

When I began recovery for my restrictive eating disorder as an adult, telling loved ones about my illness was an out-of-body experience. I was acutely aware of how fast my heart beat, how my insides heated. I’d wring my hands together and hear a voice that must have been mine sharing the facts of my illness, reminding me of my commitment to recovery. Now that I am solidly in remission, I know those were my body’s physical tells of how uncomfortable it is to be vulnerable.

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Gastroparesis and Eating Disorders

A person clutching their stomach in discomfort.

Gastroparesis is a stomach condition that is highly prevalent within the eating disorder community. The term “gastroparesis” directly translates to “stomach paralysis.” This condition acutely affects the normal movement of the stomach muscles. Perhaps you or a loved one suffers from gastroparesis, or maybe this is your first introduction to the condition. Regardless of your baseline understanding, this comprehensive overview aims to expand your awareness so that you can identify symptoms and recognize the link between gastroparesis and eating disorders.

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