The complex and deadly world of eating disorders

Connected coverage - selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine

Posted July 23, 2012

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Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia are not just the domain of high school girls and college-age women. Public health experts for years have been urging physicians to look beyond the usual suspects when diagnosing patients with the disorders. American Medical News has covered numerous aspects of how these illnesses are recognized and treated in a wide range of patient types — and how too often the conditions continue to go unnoticed even by trained professionals.

Eating disorders an increasing problem in older women

More than a decade ago, it was a relative rarity for psychiatrists and other doctors to encounter a middle-age or older woman with an eating disorder. But new research concludes that a majority of people in this demographic have weight anxieties that can lead to serious disorders, and physicians in the field say they're increasingly diagnosing older women with the diseases. Read more

Look beyond stereotypes to spot patients with eating disorders

National data showed that women ages 19 to 30 still made up the largest group of people hospitalized for eating disorders, but there were spikes for men, younger boys and girls, and older people. One theory for the rise among young children: In their effort to combat childhood obesity, physicians and others inadvertently may trigger disorders in those with genetic predispositions. Read more

The changing face of anorexia

Societal influences — skeletal fashion models, pro-anorexia websites, obsession with thinness in the war on obesity — have affected patients of all genders, ages, races and backgrounds who are vulnerable to eating disorders. Recognizing complex warning signs and appropriately treating patients who might insist they have no problems can be the difference between life and death by starvation or suicide. Read more

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Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

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American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

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Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

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Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

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Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

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How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

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Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

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Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

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