Link: Eating Disorders: All in the Family

Today at

I've read a little bit of Dr. Zerbe's work before, and generally find it comprehensive and accessible. The two questions featured here are particularly compelling, I think, because they deal with some rarely discussed facets of food and weight interpersonal issues: an over-controlling mother-in-law and a hypercritical/insensitive father.

One of the commenters calls Dr. Zerbe on her assumption (in answering the second question) that a teenager would be able or "allowed" to redirect the family dialogue dynamic. Commenter #5 brings reality onto the couch with this all-too-universal gem: "[A]ny attempt on my part to draw boundaries and protect myself was met with either 'You're too sensitive' (a favorite in my house) or 'How dare you try to control what I'm allowed to say?'" That second one is particularly interesting here in the land of the First Amendment. I have a family member who exploded (after a stressful car ride) at being asked not to talk about weight or diet (apparently around me; I did not issue this request). This just happens to be a family member who is obsessed with "healthy eating" and exercise, and who can never quite hold in the helpful feedback on food that springs from those lips during pretty much any situation that revolves around food in any way.

Some of the other commenters on this post aren't quite so... er... helpful. Some of the judgment therein is just... wow. Takes my breath away a little bit. I won't quote those comments here. They range from canonical statements of what is the Right Way To Eat to snide, backhanded asides about the luxury of being able to have eating disorders in the first place. Crap like that doesn't help anyone, and certainly doesn't deal with the underlying issues (individual and collective) that sow the seeds of eating disorders. Keep it in your thick skull, please. Cathleen, though, gets both my thumbs up for responding to a commenter who apologized for not being politically correct, "It's not politically incorrect. It's just incorrect.
Sounds like you missed Logic 101 in college." Bravo, Cathleen.

Anyway, this is a quick, interesting read with some encouraging (and some less so) commenters.

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