carnival of eating disorders #7 (part 1)

welcome to the 7th carnival of eating disorders! this round, i’m trying something new. i’ll discuss the articles in a little more detail and break them up over two days. let me know how you like that!

today we’ll talk about the topic of addictions and habits (or lack of them).

corn products at the root of many addictions?
jolynn braley from the fit shack talks about some interesting research conducted by dr. theron g. randolph:

his article correlates to what i have been writing about sugar (that it is a drug), and he specifically points out that corn is the leading cause of chronic food addiction in this century. high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, these are all sugars made from corn and are main ingredients in most processed food and fast food.

i also learned that corn is the most prevalent ingredient in alcohol manufacturing, and that it is corn sugar that is used in cigarettes (i thought it was cane sugar)

fascinating stuff! read on in her article can food addiction lead to drug addiction?. i’m not sure that i would 100% subscribe to the “one addiction leads to another” theory but randolph’s research is most definitely worth pondering. he also talks about the connection between food allergies and food addiction, a topic much discussed by the 12-step recovery community.

emotions and the web of addictions
karen halls also talks about food addiction. her theory is that “food cravings and overeating are a symptom of us trying to tranquilise unresolved emotional issues that are leaving us with feelings such as emptiness, deprivation and inadequacy.”

that is the case for many people, although i personally find that addiction is often even more complicated than that. mental, physical and emotional patterns interact in very intricate ways, and there is rarely just one “cause” for an addiction.

this is one of the reasons why addictions are so difficult to eradicate – if we manage to resolve one cause of the addiction, the other ones often (not always, of course!) still remain and after a while even manage to “reawaken” the one we thought we had resolved. (that’s part of what i call the “i-thought-i-had-dealt-with-that syndrome”). constant vigilance is needed.

having said that, emotional reasons for overeating or any other addiction are often the strongest ones, so it’s certainly extremely important to deal with that. read what karen has to say about that in her article weight loss without cravings and no diet at her blog addiction recovery blog

unhealthy eating habits: lack of self-care
emotions are one part of the web of addiction. habits are another. phil from phil for humanity (isn’t that a nice name for a blog?) talks about the not-so-healthy eating habits of geeks in how to gain weight.

in his opinion, “there are two types of geeks: “fat geeks who eat badly and get little exercise, and skinny geeks (as i was) who defy the laws of nature who also eat badly and get little exercise.” his suggestions remind me a bit of a guest post here on by alex about struggling with being too thin.

his suggestion to “get a girlfriend” gave me cause for reflection. what’s behind that may well be the lack the motivation for self care – another strand of the web of addiction. what needs to happen for people to look after themselves as well as a loving partner would?

or we could even look at it in terms of looking after a precious houseplant. such a plant needs just the right amount of water, light and fertilizer – not too much, not too little. while caught in the web of addiction, this exquisite care is sorely lacking.

(by the way, chris pirillo has a bit of a companion article to phil’s – for geeks who eat too much – or maybe phil’s is the companion article since chris’s became so well known all over the web.)

pro ana / mia websites
terra attrill’s contribution at eating disorder talk is about the need “for a safe place to provide support for people with anorexia and bulimia that is not always about recovery, but is also not scripted within the ‘pro ana and mia’ sites.”

i am always grateful for articles like this, written by people who don’t pontificate about quick-fix solutions but rather share their very real experience in a thought-provoking manner.

terra discusses something very controversial: “pro ana and mia” websites, websites that either condone or promote anorexic and bulimic lifestyles.

the question i’m putting out there today is if these websites are as detrimental as they are being portrayed to be.

yes, these are places where people with active eating disorders can congregate. tips are often shared, though sometimes only via personal messaging or email, so as not to influence others. “thinspiration” pictures and stories, triggers for many, are posted to peruse and comment upon.

pro-eeating disorder sites are not positive in any of these aspects…

but if you’ve ever been a member of or happened upon one of these sites and taken longer than two minutes to form an opinion, you can observe an amazing vessel of support. not just for the eating disorders themselves, but for people active in their illness, depressed, suicidal and even seeking treatment. in my opinion, this is not a negative thing.

read more of terra’s important insights in her post a misinterpretation?

that’s it for today. in part 2 of this carnival. we’ll have GNIF brain blogger, dr. deb, fitbuff and sizenet, all taking various viewpoints on the issue of being overweight.

(oh, and if you’re a blogger and have an article that talks about pertinent topics – anything from anorexia to bulimia, orthorexia, anorexia athletica, obesity and body image – please submit it to the next edition of carnival of eating disorders using our carnival submission form.)

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *