HEALTH in VOGUE

In an effort to promote a healthier image, the fashion mag has vowed to stop using too-skinny and underage models in its pages — and we think it’s fantastic that the high-fashion publication is paving the way and promoting a healthy image!

19 Vogue editors from around the world have made up their minds: Skinny is out and healthy is in! In a new project to promote a healthier and more realistic body image, the fashion mag has decided to ban super-skinny models with eating disorders and those under the age of 16 from its future issues –  we hope that this healthy approach continues to spread throughout the fashion industry!

The pledge, known as The Health Initiative, not only means that the magazine will stop hiring underweight and underage models, but they promise to stick to their commitment by having casting directors ID every model and also check for any signs of an eating disorder.

Young girls face many pressures in the modeling industry — and we’re so happy that the mag is going to look out for their well-being! Not only are we happy for the girls involved, but the message it will send to the masses will do wonders while promoting a healthy image.

After seeing stick-thin models appearing in magazines for years, we’re so glad that Vogue is encouraging women with a new healthier image! Do you agree?

– Jennifer Velez

MEDCRUNCH will keep an eye on VOGUE to make sure they “stick” with using healthy models.  What is healthy? At a MINIMUM, the model should weigh 100 pounds for the first 5 feet and 5 pounds for every inch after that. Anything under that isn’t a healthy image.

Brian Cuban Interviews Larry North about 11 Healthy Eating Myths

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A FEW TAKEAWAYS in case you missed it.  Brian Cuban asked Larry what it takes to be lean and some of his answers may surprise you.  
SHINE ON:  Foods for Healthy, Glowing Skin
If you think what you eat doesn’t matter, as long as you “work it off” –that’s a myth.  
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According to Larry North, eating healthy makes MORE of a difference than exercise.  Here are 11 Tips from Larry:
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1. You CAN get food, flavor & satisfaction in healthy meals.  Brian mentioned he doesn’t cook and eats out a lot.  Larry said he actually will call the local grocery store where they prepare take-out meals and have them cook/prepare healthy meals for him. Good suggestion.  He orders carefully when at a restaurant. He said  pieces of a cut roll & sashimi is enough.  He believes in eating a lot of good food. He says it’s all about eating. More about the food choices than exercise.
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2. #1 cause of obesity is sugary drinks. Best thing you can do is cut out sodas & sugary coffees out completely.  I’ve been saying this forever. I did so inn 2005 and feel such a difference.  I can personally tell you that your body starts to reject sugar and junk food.
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3. Genetics play a huge role, but HABITS play an even larger role.  Larry stressed that even if you have a lot of family members that are obese, you CAN make a difference by making behavioral changes.
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4. Cardio is overrated.  See #9.
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5. You CAN’T work it off. You have to eat it off (meaning WHAT you eat is more important)
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6. There’s ONE key to a good meal & fitness program. It’s SUSTAINABILITY. You have to ask yourself if you can stick with it long-term. If you can’t sustain it –it will be short-lived.
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7. Behavioral change is the key to fitness.
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8. Work out less; eat better. Larry kept stressing the importance of your food choices. I’m glad about this because I post a lot about healthy foods. I believe a lot of good health (feeling AND looking your best) is nutritional.
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9. 4 to 5 hours of exercise is enough a week.  Larry says if you’re doing more than that –it’s too much.  Brian mentioned that he loves running, but had a problem with his knee and really hates that he can’t run.  Larry said he could get the same benefits from walking –that he doesn’t need to run.
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10. It’s all about what you eat. Plan meals in advance. Larry has two books you can check out. One is “Get Fit” and the most recent is “Living Lean“.
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11.  I missed one.  It’s probably in the book!!  🙂  Wait. I recall another one.   I suppose I should write things down.  Lifting weights. He says you don’t have to spend a great deal of time lifting weights to have it make a difference.  Again, he stresses what you eat as being the most important behavior change you can make.  30 to 40 minutes of even walking 4 days a week keeps you fit when you are eating right.
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The bottom line is you do not need to be a gym rat.
CHECK OUT LARRY NORTH’S BOOK FOR MORE:
THANK YOU, BRIAN. GREAT INTERVIEW.
Link to Revolution Rant with Brian Cuban Show here:   http://tobtr.com/s/3052629.
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Stay healthy, everyone!

Israeli Law Bans Underweight Models in Ads

As someone who specializes in health, I am in favor of the Israeli law. How wonderful that Adi Barkan, a top Israeli modeling agent proposed the law.

I have been to fashion shows in NYC where I was so uncomfortable watching corpses try to walk down the runway –I wanted to walk out. 

Yet, I applaud at the end of the show instead of being outraged. 

Outraged at the unhealthy images being promoted, which send the wrong message to men and women through its distortion of body image.  If the fashion industry doesn’t change, consumers need to stop buying whatever they sell.

Sharing an article I wrote in 2006, which is still relevant.

Eating Disorders: Maybe It’s Time for a Little Political Correctness by Maria Dorfner

Recently, I began questioning the usage of the term eating disorders. It used to be referred to as anorexia. The term has since expanded to include not just anorexia, but bulimia, compulsive eating, binge-eating and exercise addiction or as Dr. Margo Maine, a clinical psychologist and author of the book, Body Wars: Making Peace With Womens’ Bodies calls it “excess-ersize”.

I understand the reasoning behind creating a broader term, but I don’t understand attaching the word “disorder” to any of these illnesses considering the sensitive psychological component which exists with them.

By this I mean the negative self-talk and shame which these persons struggle to overcome. Recovery includes avoiding circumstances or environments where negative self beliefs about themselves are triggered. Yet, the very word “disorder”, the label slapped on them by the medical community, conjures up instant images of something negative.

I heard something on the radio this morning which prompted my thoughts on this matter. It was another female celebrity being accused of having an eating disorder and adamantly denying it. It got me thinking that the term “eating disorder” screams, “There is something wrong with you!”

I don’t know anyone that would respond positively when told there must be something wrong with you. Telling someone, “I think you have an eating disorder” sounds more like a harsh accusation than a heartfelt concern for a friend, loved one or significant other. Accusations cause defensiveness, denial and shame.

This can lead people who may need help to isolate themselves from the accusations, feel added shame and not seek treatment. I’m not saying all these celebrities have an eating disorder, but some clearly have bones jetting out from their rib cage and collarbone while boasting about staying in shape with their personal trainer.

Eating disorders are complex and the fashion industry and media are already bombarding young girls, boys and adults with distorted images of what their body should look like. Skinny jeans are back and whereas a size 6 used to be thin, now it’s a size 00. I can only imagine where it will go from here. Size Sub 0 perhaps. If jeans came with warning labels that would be the time to add one, such as Warning: Attempting to squeeze into these jeans could cause an eating disorder.

Recent studies suggest there is a genetic and environmental component which predisposes certain individuals to eating disorders. They have what is referred to as a vulnerable personality which is highly sensitive to the environment or what are clinically called triggers. The odds for recovery get stacked against them when the outside environment is bombarded with them.

Supermarkets and News Stands showing bikini-clad unhealthy images are pervasive, so you don’t have to go far to be exposed to them. Then, when someone achieves this look, they are told they have a disorder. It’s psychologically confusing. When we learned cigarettes cause cancer, the television and print ads with the macho, attractive Marlboro man on a horse stopped. It took awhile, but common sense prevailed. Hopefully, the fashion and media industry will take note that there is a correlation between their mixed messages and behavior.

Change could begin within the medical community as well. No one would dream of calling fat people fat anymore. It may be time the term “eating disorder” be revisited. Most celebs would readily admit to alcohol or drug dependence, but mention an eating “disorder” and all the defenses go up. Who wants to admit to having a disorder? The very word has a stigma to it, and serves only to reinforce or trigger the negative beliefs that are already a part of the eating disorder struggle.

The insensitivity doesn’t end there as the same people who would never dream of saying, “You’re so fat” to someone who is obese or deemed obese by whatever the latest Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator dictates– thinks nothing of saying, “You’re so skinny” to someone who may be suffering from an eating “disorder”.

I don’t profess to know what eating disorders should be called instead. But maybe an open dialogue is needed with clinicians, educators and patients about this topic and whether the term is psychologically detrimental to recovery or to reaching out to friends, family or significant others who may be suffering.

It would be interesting to ask patients how the term makes them feel. I’m thinking the majority of them will say, “It makes me feel like there is something wrong with me — like I’m defective.”

A google search on disorders pulls up an A to Z laundry list that makes your head spin — 204,000,000 hits — so eating disorders are not alone in their defective label. Yet, I don’t know too many other illnesses that can be triggered by a term being used to describe it.

It seems counterproductive to want to help people while potentially unwittingly causing them harm. It may be time for the fashion industry and media to think about the triggering images and mixed messages they distribute, and for the medical community to place a kinder and gentler label on this illness.

Can an iPhone or iPad Help with Anorexia Nervosa Intervention

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

It’s called “Photo-Therapy” and it may offer a promising intervention

 By Sidney H. Weissman, MD | January 11, 2012
Dr Weissman is on the Faculty at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and he is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago.
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We now communicate in ways that are very different from those available just a decade ago. The iPhone, iPad, and similar devices also enable us to observe ourselves as we perform any number of activities. These and other new devices may have an application their designers never considered. I believe we can harness this technology to help us treat some of our patients.

Specifically, I propose that the ability of the iPhone and iPad to ”film” ourselves in real time could serve as an important therapeutic instrument in the treatment of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN).

  • We know patients with AN have a delusional sense that they are overweight and have a distorted body self-perception, even when they are undernourished and near death. To address the distorted self-image, we use various medications and forms of individual, group, and family psychotherapy along with nutritional support administered with the help of dieticians.

These treatments aim to correct the patient’s delusional perception of body image and to establish life sustaining eating patterns that will maintain body weight. Correcting the patient’s delusional self-perception is seen as critical in the patient developing life-sustaining eating patterns. Over time, and for some patients, however, these treatment approaches have limited success.

Mental health professionals typically employ verbal or written communications to address and alter an anorexic patient’s distorted self image. Patients may appear to accept our therapeutic pleadings and go along with varied elements of our treatments. Secretly, however, they often don’t believe what they tell us. Thus, even when we believe our treatment has been successful, seeds of relapse often exist.

If we focus on obtaining a better understanding of how patients with AN distort their body image, perhaps we can enhance our therapeutic approaches?

If a patient with AN sees her reflection in a mirror, she typically perceives herself as overweight. However, if she is shown an iPhone image of herself immediately after it is taken, I have found that she may see herself differently — in fact, as the undernourished person she really is.

When she sees herself in the mirror, the image she sees is instantaniously fused and distorted with her self-perception as overweight. When the same individual holds an iPhone with an image of herself immediately after it is taken, a different cognitive process is involved. First she observes in the iPhone a picture of a woman and that woman’s physical characteristics. She may be able to accurately describe the physicality of the woman in the picture as extremely thin. This may occur because thebrain first registers the physicality of the person. Quickly the patient will realize that she is, in fact, the woman in the iPhone image. At this point, she may or may not continue to be able to report accurately what she now knows is her own picture.

The therapist who treats patients with AN can use the patient’s potential capacity to correctly describe the iPhone images to help her correct distortions of body image.  Let me describe an approach utilizing this knowledge that has successfully worked with some of my patients with AN.

First the patient is asked to observe and then describe her image as seen in a mirror with her therapist present. Then an iPhone image is taken. She is asked by her therapist to describe the iPhone image. If she can correctly describe her physicality in the iPhone image and distinguish it from her distorted view of the mirror image, her therapist can go on to address with the patient her distorted body image.

When a patient persistently describes the woman in the iPhone image in the same terms as she does when observing herself in the mirror, the therapist takes a picture with the patient. The therapist then asks the patient to describe separately their images. If she sees a distorted image of the therapist, the therapist and patient then work to develop a jointly shared description of the therapist. Once this is achieved, both re-examine the image of the other person in the phone image. . .  the patient. They now work together to develop a jointly shared view of the patient.

The therapist does not correct the patient’s misinterpretation of the phone image. If she has correctly described the image of the the therapist but cannot accurately describe her own image, then the therapist may remind her that both agreed on the therapist’s image. At this point, they may again see if they can come to an agreement on a description of the woman in the image. If they now can not, the therapist can explore with the patient why she felt she could not.

The psychotherapeutic  techniques used in this process are described by Frieda Fromm-Reichmann in Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy.1  “The psychiatrist should not argue . . . He should  state quite simply that he does not share the patient’s . . . interpretation or evaluation of facts . . . He should try to interest the patient in the investigation of the following questions. . . why is there a difference in the patient’s interpretation or. . . perception from those of the psychiatrist.”

By reconciling the patient’s perception of herself in the phone image and in the mirror, the patient may actually be able to correct her errors of body image and would — with additional therapeutic interventions to sustain this corrected vision and — eventually be able to maintain her weight with little or no outside help.

The additional treatment would also utilize appropriate  principles and techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as well as nutritional counseling.

Because of the risk that body image distortion and weight loss will recur, the patient may benefit from learning how to use the selective phone images throughout her life to ensure a reliable body image, regardless of whether she is in therapy.

Conclusion
These therapeutic interactions may be a useful facet of a multifaceted therapeutic approach. They are intended to reduce the power of body distortion in perpetuating AN. CBT and nutritional counseling continue as important elements in the treatment of AN. The technique to address distortion of body image may also be of use in the treatment of patients with body dysmorphic disorder.

Reference
1. Fromm-Reichman F. Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago;1950:175.

The First Comprehensive Biological Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa in Fifty Years Revealed in New Book

One of America’s leading experts in eating disorders and integrative medicine presents a revolutionary new treatment plan for women and men with anorexia

Quote startAnorexia is not the disease we’ve always thought it was. It’s not just a psychiatric disorder. Anorexia is a medical illness of starvation that causes malnutrition in the body and the brain. Treatment needs to focus on correcting this malnutrition.Quote end

The first thing Dr. James M. Greenblatt wants you to know about anorexia nervosa in Answers to Anorexia (Sunrise River Press, softbound, $16.95), his breakthrough new treatment for treating and preventing the disease, is that this is no trivial condition.

“Anorexia nervosa is not just an eating disorder. It’s the most lethal psychiatric disorder on the planet. One of out of every five patients dies within twenty years of diagnosis, predominantly from suicide.”

The second thing Greenblatt, a noted expert in eating disorders and integrative medicine, wants perfectly clear is that the medical profession has failed the millions of young women—and increasingly men—ravaged by the spiral of self-imposed starvation that anorexia unleashes.

“Anorexia is not the disease we’ve always thought it was. It’s not just a psychiatric disorder. Anorexia is a medical illness of starvation that causes malnutrition in the body and the brain. Treatment needs to focus on correcting this malnutrition.”

By treating the underlying medical illness of brain starvation, Greenblatt has had success in helping anorexic patients recover. Armed with the latest research from the frontiers of brain chemistry and nutrition, he even believes that anorexia nervosa may be preventable. That’s the best news we’ve had in fifty years of treating the disease.

Greenblatt’s new nutritional paradigm resulted in his developing a highly accessible treatment regimen incorporating holistic and integrative/nutritional medicine. The nutritional model also enabled Greenblatt to develop a new diagnostic tool for determining the likely effectiveness of individual medications for the treatment of depression and anxiety that often accompany anorexia.

Many of the symptoms anorexics present, including ironically, self-starvation, are themselves expressions of a starving brain. A brain that convinces you it’s a good idea to starve is an insidious adversary. Fortunately, as Greenblatt’s research concludes, you can stop this life- threatening process with targeted nutritional interventions.

“There will always be a role for therapy and medications in the treatment of anorexia,” Greenblatt explains. “But for the first time there’s a treatment that stops the downward spiral of this disease long enough to provide effective treatment and facilitate sustained recovery.”

That will be world-changing news to the millions of families faced with the daily nightmare of “reasoning” with someone intent on starving herself. Greenblatt’s brain research has also led to the aforementioned diagnostic test—referenced electroencephalogram (rEEG)—that has been proven successful in helping doctors know which medications will work for individual patients. “It beats the trial and error method of polypharmacy hands down,” Greenblatt explains. “That’s important. The faster you can treat the symptoms of anorexia—the depression, the obsessive thoughts—the profound malnutrition—the better the chance of survival. Greenblatt has redefined our understanding of Anorexia Nervosa with his description of this life-threatening cycle that he refers to as “Malorexia.”

Answers to Anorexia presents these neurophysiological breakthroughs in language accessible to any layman. It’s a fascinating book for anyone interested in the physical damage and brain dysfunction that result from anorectic malnutrition. And a life-saver for anyone suffering through it.

For more information, visit http://www.jamesgreenblattmd.com

Media contact: Victor Gulotta, Gulotta Communications, Inc.
617-630-9286, victor(at)booktours(dot)com
http://www.booktours.com

Answers to Anorexia: A Breakthrough Nutritional Treatment That Is Saving Lives
By James M. Greenblatt, MD
Sunrise River Press
ISBN: 978-1-934716-07-6; softbound, 6 x 9, 224 pp., $16.95

Biographical Information

A pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, James M. Greenblatt, MD, has treated patients with complex eating disorders since 1988. An acknowledged eating disorder and integrative medicine expert, Dr. Greenblatt has lectured throughout the United States on the scientific evidence for nutritional interventions in psychiatry and eating disorders.

In addition to being the Chief Medical Officer of Walden Behavioral Care, Dr. Greenblatt is the Founder and Medical Director of Comprehensive Psychiatric Resources, a private integrative psychiatric practice. Dr. Greenblatt also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts Medical School. After receiving his medical degree and completing his psychiatry residency at George Washington University, Dr. Greenblatt went on to complete a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School.