Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What don't you know about eating disorders?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Feb 24, 2015 3:50 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, February 25, 2015:

February 22 through 28 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

About 30 million Americans, or one tenth of the nation's population, will suffer from some form of an eating disorder during their lifetimes.  That's according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Although eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are prevalent and lead to some of the highest death rates of any mental health condition, they are poorly understood, often dismissed as a lifestyle choice or a voluntary phase.

However, by age 6, girls start to be concerned about their own weight or shape while 40-60% of elementary school girls are worried about becoming too fat, a concern that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.  Boys and young men aren't immune, especially those involved in athletics or have been bullied.

Joining us on Wednesday's Smart Talk are Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's Physician General and Lynn Patrone, with the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to discuss the severity and impacts of eating disorders as well as possible preventions, treatments and support systems.

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Lynn Patrone & Dr. Rachel Levine

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  • ChrisB img 2015-02-25 09:14

    Please tell your listeners that anorexia is a pernicious killer. My mother died of a heart attack that was brought on by sudden weight gain after a period of starvation. She'd been suffering from anorexia for about 15 years, and this was in the mid-1970s before Karen Carpenter's death brought attention to eating disorders. Get help for you loved ones.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-02-25 09:53

    A listener emails--

    I have had bulimia since I was a teenager I am fairly recovered but as the caller said you can’t get away from food.

    The thing I wanted to point out is that it is sometimes your family. I grew up in a complicated household where I had a disconnected depressed mother with an abusive intelligent father.

    I had weight issues growing up due to being an obese child before it was common and parental pressures to clean your plate balanced with a directive to not be fat.

    We attempted to explain the situation to adults but no one listened. Throughout my life I have discovered that purging was the only way I could get anything out of myself. I literally threw up everything that I was forced to live with.

    So...sometimes it is the family.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-02-25 10:06

    Sara emails--

    Hi!

    I'm tuning into your broadcast, and really interested in the eating disorder topic. I wanted to share that I am a speaker and improviser, and I've developed a raw, real, interactive workshop called Mirror Mirror that I've been taking to colleges in Pennsylvania this spring. It's been really well-received, and one of the only programs like it in the country.

    http://www.sarashawspeaking.com/#!programs/c3wd

    I thought your listeners might be interested in learning more--this topic is too often glamorized and pushed under the rug, and I'm so happy that you've decided to cover it today.

    I'll keep trying to call in, although I can see the time is almost over!

    Thanks so much,
    Sara Shaw

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-02-25 10:10

    Lisa emails--

    I know the show is over now, but there was so much focus on anorexia. I think there are more people who are experiencing binge eating issues and that was hardly discussed. Binge eating (without purging) is a factor in the obesity epidemic in this country. There are way more people who have the problem of eating too much than those who don’t want to eat.

    I hope you have another show to cover this topic. Thanks,

    • Mara img 2015-02-27 12:08

      I agree with you, Lisa! I have known one person with anorexia and two with bulimia over my (long) life, but MANY people among my family and friends--as well as myself--whose lives are significantly affected by binge-eating. I did not find that this discussion served my need for knowledge or direction for working with this, and would appreciate something in the future. Everyone I know who suffers from this is either normal weight or overweight (but not obese), so in my experience the problem is largely hidden from others, and is only known if the person reveals it, since the overeating usually occurs in a clandestine way.