There has been a long-standing stereotype that only thin, white, heterosexual teenagers get eating disorders. This stereotype is untrue and harmful. The truth is that eating disorders don't discriminate, and some of the most marginalized communities are most impacted. Those who are furthest from the stereotype of who gets eating disorders, are often not diagnosed and suffer much longer before getting treatment.
Diagnosed eating disorders effect about 30 million Americans (ANAD) and disordered eating effects even more people. All eating disorders occur in people of every body size. It is important to remember that you cannot tell what eating disorder someone has based on the size or shape of their body.
I treat people with all forms of eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED). Many people struggling with food and body have never formally been diagnosed with an eating disorder or may feel that they don't meet the criteria for an eating disorder, and thus don't need help. My clients have broad experiences and every story is different. Every single one of my clients is deserving of help.
People of all ages get eating disorders, and we work with children, adolescents, and adults. When seeing clients with eating disorders, there is frequently a team that may include a dietitian and other healthcare providers. I believe that treatment is most helpful when all members of the treatment team and the client are working together. I collaborate with team members with the permission of my client to make sure we can all offer the best support possible. Often times, decisions need to be made about whether clients need a higher level of care (HLOC) such as residential or inpatient treatment. While I may recommend that a HLOC would be beneficial, the decision about going to a HLOC is made collaboratively.
I honor and value body diversity and work with people across the weight spectrum. I know that people in higher weight bodies can be weight suppressed and need to restore weight just as people in lower weight bodies may need to restore weight. I recognize that while diet culture and the fixation on thinness harms everyone, it harms people in the most marginalized bodies the most.
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