National Eating Disorders Association

At NEDA we know that holidays can be a stressful time for families and individuals struggling with, or pursuing recovery from, an eating disorder. So, we asked the NEDA community to share their strategies for navigating the holidays in the face of such challenges. A few themes emerged, and we’ve put them together here to offer helpful perspectives and steps you can take to maximize the enjoyment of your holiday gatherings. If you have a friend, or family member affected, take a few minutes to share these tips and discuss how you can be a part of their planning and support.

Courtesy of: Center for Change / Compiled by: Michael E. Berrett, PhD

On October 10th, 200 passionate individuals converged in Washington, DC to meet with their representatives at NEDA’s first Federal Lobby Day, co-sponsored by the Academy of Eating Disorders (AED) and the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (iaedp). Despite the government shutdown, the threat of a truckers strike around the city and pouring rain, participants made their way to the Hill to use their voice to make a positive change.

Lobby Day Progress

“Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest.” — Geneen Roth

Food, family gatherings and thankfulness are centerpieces of many Americans’ holidays—often in that order. These very traits commonly deemed attributes are precisely what make the food-centric season challenging when you have an eating disorder, which can make festive food displays daunting and the company of others intimidating

The recent Time magazine cover of newly re-elected New Jersey governor Chris Christie, calling him the “Elephant in the Room” is more than just a political pun in bad taste – it’s blatant fat shaming. 

NEDA announced the first recipients of the Feeding Hope Fund for Clinical Research & Training grant at the 2013 Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Totaling $400,000, the two grants were given to Daniel Le Grange, PhD and Denise Wilfley, PhD with an eye on utilizing technology to improve treatment for eating disorders.

 In this post, Dr. Wilfley talks more in depth about her project, Harnessing Technology for Training Clinicians to Deliver Interpersonal Psychotherapy :


Eating disorders are family disorders. Keynote speaker at this year’s National Eating Disorders Association Conference, Dr Thomas Insel, spoke from the heart.

The Federal government shutdown meant he could not speak as director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) so Dr Insel, the father of two children born in the late 1970s, spoke as a parent.

I can waiver back and forth endlessly and aimlessly on a decision. In thought or on paper, my mind can justify Choice A or Choice B (or Choices C and D!).  I'll list out pro's and con's in side-by-side columns, but that doesn't necessarily clarify either.  I can sink into frustration and feel inept and stuck.

The phrase, “Needs Improvement” seems like a fair way to assess the spelling or cursive handwriting skills of an elementary school student. But the body composition of an adolescent child? Perhaps not.

The first general session on the second day of the Conference – NEDA’s annual Family Panel – sent  a powerful and vital message to attendees: recovery is real and possible for everyone. The Family Panel included personal stories of overcoming and perseverance in the face of an eating disorder diagnosis, as well as touching stories from both a father and partner of individuals affected on what they have learned about supporting a loved one with an eating disorder. Here is an overview of this year’s panelists: