Disordered eating is defined as
having eating habits that might present a risk to mental or physical health,
without exhibiting all the symptoms of a “recognized eating disorder”.
The term “eating disorder” is defined as
a mental illness; a brain problem that creates obsessive thoughts
and compulsive behaviors around food and the body.
Using the above definitions, it seems clear to me that mental health professionals
could manage to place almost every obese person somewhere in those categories,
which increases their marketing target and their potential financial profit.
It is the position of mental health professionals that
all people with disordered eating behaviors and
all people who exhibit symptoms of eating disorders
should receive psychological treatment to correct those conditions.
I don't agree.
Therapy is helpful to relieve mental distress,
and if disordered eating or an eating disorder is the cause of extreme mental distress,
therapy can be beneficial when its purpose is to make people feel better about themselves..
However, in the case of “disordered eating” psychological treatment frequently
appears to merely be an effort to force people to conform to specific social norms of behavior.
And, perhaps, conformity isn’t always such a worthwhile goal.
Maybe other values are more important.
My opinions about “disordered eating” and “eating disorders” are somewhat controversial,
and over time I’ll be saying a great deal more on the subject.
But for now, I’ll leave you with the following song about disordered eating.
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