F.E.A.S.T. News Blog

F.E.A.S.T. News Blog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
F.E.A.S.T. News Blog is Moving!

The F.E.A.S.T. News Blog is Moving!

Please update your RSS feed to http://members.feast-ed.org/blogpost/1033741/F-E-A-S-T-News so as not to miss any F.E.A.S.T. news, events announcements and items of interest to the eating disorder caregiver and treatment community. This is only one of many changes you will see at F.E.A.S.T. as we move to a new membership-based website platform. Stay tuned for more information coming soon...

(Don't worry! This site will remain online as an archive for our old blog posts.)
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blank Dummy Small
Imagine a world where people are supported in living happy, healthy lives, free of judgment about the size of their bodies…this is the mission of BEDA’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week.

The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) for its 3rd Annual Weight Stigma Awareness Week         

September 23-27, 2013

Our goal is to make significant strides in:

  • Increasing awareness of the pervasiveness and destructive nature of weight stigma, and
  • Providing effective strategies for combating weight stigma

The week will feature a blog conference with tracks addressing:

  •   Weight Stigma in Diverse Populations
  •   Health and Weight Stigma
  •   Consequences of Weight Stigma in Healthcare, Employment and Education
  •   Weight Stigma Research
  •   Weight Stigma Viewed Through the Eating Disorders Lens – Clinical
  •   Combating Weight Stigma

The blog conference will also include an innovative art project, a virtual mixer, Tweetchat, webinars, and more.  Stay tuned for details!


How You Can Participate:

We encourage you to join in both our

  • Art project See Through… From Weight Stigma to Body Acceptance – a body sculpture project through the medium of tape (description and instructions here).
  • Blog conference by blogging about your personal insights and experiences surrounding weight stigma  (more info here).
  • Get updates and learn more on Twitter by following the hashtags: #WSAW, #WEIGHTSTIGMA, #SeeThrough, #mentalhealth, #bullying or visit BEDA to take part as our campaign grows!
Tuesday, August 06, 2013

F.E.A.S.T. sent out it's Quarterly Newsletter yesterday to registered members.
If you did not receive it, please:
 1) Check your junk mail and add info@feast-ed.org to your approved list of senders, OR
 2) Join F.E.A.S.T. at http://feast-ed.org/Members/Register.aspx, OR
 3) Use the Registration link above to update your Constant Contact email preferences.

Here are some of the highlights you may be missing out on:


  • "The term ‘brain disorder’: a compass or a map?" by Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, F.E.A.S.T. Policy Director
  • "To Tell the World, or Not?" by Belinda Caldwell, F.E.A.S.T. Board Member

  • Summary: "Altered Neural Circuitry May Lead to Anorexia and Bulimia" by Dr. Walter Kaye, M.D., F.E.A.S.T. Advisor
  • Important Initiative: ANGI (Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative)
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keys to Becoming a Better Advocate
Leah Dean, Executive Director, F.E.A.S.T

I recently attended the semi-annual NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Meeting in Washington DC. While I do plan to write up a more comprehensive report on the overall event, I felt a strong inclination to focus this post on one particular theme of the meeting – that of working effectively as an advocate

One of many interesting talks at the Alliance Meeting was by Margaret Anderson, Executive Director of “FasterCures” whose mission is to find and promote ways that speed up the process of gathering scientific knowledge to apply to treatment models. 

TIME=LIVES is their call to action.

Faster Cures did a study of the AIDS Advocacy movement, which has been one of the most successful advocacy campaigns to date, and which resulted in a large and effective investment in AIDS research and treatment strategies.

How did they do it?

Key Elements of the AIDS Advocacy Movement:

1.       Attention
2.       Knowledge
3.       Solutions
4.       Community
5.       Accountability to Goals
6.       Leadership

How can we learn from their model when working with eating disorders?


Get attention for your cause. Storm the gates, make it happen. No one is more invested in seeing effective progress than the families of eating disorder patients. It is up to us to make it happen, to demand better treatments and a higher priority to eating disorder research. 


As advocates, we need to do our research. We need to know the SCIENCE. We need to know the science well enough to see the larger picture and explain it to people in a position to be able to help our cause. This includes understanding the LIMITATIONS of the science and the scientific METHOD, as well as knowing the POLICY and CONSTRAINTS that the scientific community is dealing with. 


Knowing the science, method, limitations, policy and constraints will enable us to propose novel solutions to those in the field with a more focused point of view about their own particular research and theories. Even our cockamamie theories, if based on some combination of knowledge and experience, can become seeds for others to nurture in approaching their own work.


No one person can do this alone. We must come together as a community and pool our ideas and resources. We can’t do it without PATIENTS. Bringing the patients into the community to call for cures and to participate in clinical trials that may not help them, but could help others in the future is critical. We can’t do it without FAMILIES who care for the patients, pay for treatment, put their lives on hold, and as a result can have incredible INSIGHT and EXPERIENCE that others in the community need to be aware of. We can’t do it without RESEARCHERS and CLINICIANS. They are not our enemies, they are people like us dedicating their work to helping our loved ones with whatever tools they have been given and insights they have gleaned from their own lives and work.

Accountability to Goals

We need to define common goals and work towards them. This may entail pulling back and taking stock and re-calculating the path. These are uncharted waters and we are all sailing in different directions trying to find a common port in the storm.


We can’t stay on track without leaders who do it all – who see the big picture, get positive attention, build communities, do their research, propose solutions, and hold people accountable.

I would like to add one more key ingredient to this recipe: COLLABORATION.


Eating disorders do not exist in a vacuum. We know they are developmental brain diseases and that co-morbidities are common. There is a larger mental health advocacy community out there, many of whom are working just as hard and tirelessly as we are within the confines of their own particular causes. One thing to remember is that these people get it. They have seen mental illness of other flavors and understand the concepts that these are not lifestyle choices, that bad parenting doesn’t cause mental illness, that effective treatment is out there and that recovery is possible. They may not get it yet for eating disorders, but they are primed to understand when given good information and they also see the desperate need for better treatments and access to effective services.

With these things in common, it is only natural to join forces to create common standards and goals for promoting mental health research and improving treatment. Once again, we can’t do it alone. We need comprehensive standards of care, we need to make sure families are included as caregivers to provide 24/7 structure and support outside of care appointments. We need individual case managers who look at the big picture for each individual patient and take into account co-morbidities, medical concerns, and personal resources in order to triage treatment components. We need providers to take responsibility for overseeing transitions between levels of care where patients often fall through the cracks.  I could go on, but I think you all get the picture.

I urge everyone reading this to pause and take stock. Think about your passions, your goals, your needs and your skills. Think how you personally can apply them to your own advocacy work and within a larger community. Think about what helps and what harms, what promotes change and what creates division, what is a clear voice and what is background noise.

I am incredibly proud to be a part of the F.E.A.S.T community. Each day we welcome new members – caregivers, patients, recovered patients, clinicians and researchers. We have a set of guiding principles and we have leadership all over the world that is working to see the big picture and further our goals. We are well on our way to being better and better advocates. Join us?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

North Wales Eating Disorders Carers’ Event

Is an Eating Disorder affecting someone you care about?



Are you a carer, family member or friend of someone who has an Eating Disorder?


Would you like to meet other carers in an informal, supportive setting and learn some practical skills to help your loved one?


Saturday, 23rd February 2013

9.15am – 11.30am


Faenol Fawr Country House Hotel

Rhuddlan Road, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire LL18 5UN


This event is for carers, family members or friends of someone affected by an eating disorder. There will be guest speakers, a skills workshop and time to share experiences, thoughts, successes and problems and to obtain support and information. FREE but must book in advance. Click here for more information.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning and Applying New Skills to Treat the Most Difficult Eating Disorders
Translating Cutting-edge Eating Disorder Research into Innovative Treatment Approaches

Friday, February 22, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
For questions or for more information, contact Alyson Merchant at (858) 534-9626 or amerchant@ucsd.edu or check out the conference flyer.

Featuring Speakers: 

Janet Treasure, PhD, FRCP, Daniel Le Grange, PhD, Lucene Wisniewski, PhD,  Walter Kaye, MD,
Kerri Boutelle, PhD and Leslie Anderson, PhD 

Eating disorders remain one of the most challenging disorders to treat, with an ongoing need to identify exactly what works for all who are affected by the disorder.  Continued understanding and improvement of treatment for these disorders is critical, given that they also remain one of the most lethal disorders.  With the goal of engaging both practitioners and those affected by these disorders, including their families, this conference will bring together experts in the field to present the most innovative approaches for intervening in these most difficult cases.  The conference will include opportunities for dialogue and practical training workshops for practitioners.  We hope you will join us in San Diego this February for this exciting meeting.

Friday: Clinical Training Lectures
Saturday: Practical Training Workshops

10 CE hours offered for MD*, RN*, PhD, PsyD, MFT & LCSW
*CMEs Pending

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
F.E.A.S.T. is proud to announce it's first Family Guide, "Puzzling Symptoms: Eating Disorders and the Brain, A Family Guide to the Neurobiology of Eating Disorders." This guide was a produced as a collaborative effort between F.E.A.S.T., and the Eating Disorder treatment community. A small printing of the Puzzling Symptoms Guide was distributed, last month, at the 2nd Annual F.E.A.S.T. Conference in Alexandria, VA. Electronic PDF versions of the Puzzling Symptoms Guide are available on the F.E.A.S.T. website, in both booklet and letter format.

Walter H. Kaye, M.D.
Director, Eating Disorders Program Professor, UCSD Department of Psychiatry

Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, M.S.
F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director

Mary Beth Krohel
F.E.A.S.T. Advisory Panel

Kelly L. Klump, Ph.D.
Professor and Co-Director of the Michigan State University Twin Registry,
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University

Richard E. Kreipe, M.D., FAAP, FSAM, FAED
Director of the Child and Adolescent Eating Disorder Program
University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr Sloane Madden, MBBS(Hons), FRANZCP, CAPcert, FAED
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Co-Director Eating Disorder Service,
Head of Department, Psychological Medicine, The Children’s Hospital
at Westmead

James E. Mitchell, M.D.
President and Scientific Director Professor and Chairman Department of
Neuroscience University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health
Sciences University of North Dakota

Janet Treasure, Ph.D., M.D.
Kings College London , South London and Maudsley NHS Trust

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The results for the first F.E.A.S.T. Film Festival, a series of short clips on the topic of families and eating disorders:


Modelling Effective Parenting For Eating Disorders
C&M Productions

Spotting the Tiger - Anorexia Nervosa
Kartini Foundation

Jenni Schaefer: My Mother’s Cake

beat eating disorders : Family



Honorable mention:

Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders? The experts speak.
Laura Collins






Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Parent's Choices for Research:


  • "Is anorexia nervosa an eating disorder? How neurobiology can help us understand the puzzling eating symptoms of anorexia nervosa" Walter H. Kaye MD Ursula F. Bailer MD Megan Klabunde MS Harriet Brown MFA

Parent's Choices for Books:


  • How To Help Your Teenager Beat An Eating Disorder by Locke and Le Grange
  • Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders by Carrie Arnold

Parent's Choice for News Articles:


Parent's Choices for Blogs:


Parent's Choices for Best Activism:

  • F.E.A.S.T.
  • Charlotte Bevan and Fiona Bromelow, F.E.A.S.T. UK Task Force

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F.E.A.S.T. is registered as a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
Information on this site is meant to support, not replace, professional consultation. Unless otherwise noted, content is edited by F.E.A.S.T. volunteers with assistance from our Professional Advisory Panel.

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This page was last updated: 11/18/2013 10:40:11 AM