The NEDA Feeding Hope Fund Has Awarded Dr. Janet Lydecker $125,000 to Study Treatments for Teens with Bulimia Nervosas

Washington, DC – April 18, 2023 – The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) announced today that Dr. Janet A. Lydecker, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, has been awarded the NEDA Feeding Hope Fund grant to test adding self-compassion strategies to treatment protocols for bulimia nervosa among teens living in higher weight bodies. 

Lydecker, a clinical psychologist with expertise in eating disorders in adolescents, is director of Teen POWER, a program in the department of psychiatry at Yale University. The research clinic studies eating behaviors and thoughts in teens. The program aims to develop and improve treatments for eating disorders among individuals living in higher weight bodies.

The $125,000 Feeding Hope Fund grant will span two years and will test treatments for bulimia nervosa by comparing cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness treatment. The assessments and treatment sessions will be done via telehealth and will involve approximately 40 teens from across the United States. Dr. Lydecker encourages teens from across the United States to participate and is especially interested in ensuring teens in marginalized communities have the opportunity to apply to participate. 

Teens will be assigned a therapist at the start of treatment and will have one-on-one sessions with that therapist for the entire length of the study. In some sessions, the therapist will share coping strategies with the teen focusing on their awareness of the environment, their thoughts, and themselves. Teens will practice coping strategies, and then the therapist will work with them to decide how those strategies might be helpful over the course of the week. In other sessions, the teen and therapist will look for patterns in the teen’s thoughts, feelings, and eating/purging behaviors in the past week and then come up with alternatives to the behaviors. 

“We are excited to test a treatment in a patient group that is not usually included in research,” Lydecker said. “In this study, we are including self-compassion skills along with cognitive-behavioral therapy to specifically address weight stigma.”

People with bulimia nervosa binge eat while feeling a loss of control and then take extreme measures to avoid gaining weight, such as vomiting or using laxatives. Experts still have not pinpointed the cause of the eating disorder, but clinical researchers, like Lydecker, continue to study this issue in teens and adults. 

“At NEDA, we are looking forward to learning the outcomes of Dr. Lydecker’s research. We know that research in other fields demonstrates that mindfulness (through mindfulness-based interventions) changes neural pathways in the brain related to rumination, worry, self-regulation, compassion, attention, emotional reactivity, and affect,” said Elizabeth Thompson, CEO, NEDA.  “How terrific it would be to see these changes lead to positive outcomes for teens with bulimia nervosa.” 

To learn more about body image and eating disorders, please CLICK HERE

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If you would like to learn more about eating disorder research, please CLICK HERE.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call  ANAD’s Helpline at: (888) 375-7767 or the National Alliance of Eating Disorders Helpline at: (866) 662-1235.

 

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About the National Eating Disorders Association

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, and access to quality care. Through our programs and services, NEDA raises awareness, builds communities of support and recovery, funds research and puts essential resources into the hands of those in need. For more information, visit www.www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

 

NEDA MEDIA CONTACT:

Sarah A. Chase

Mob: 1-402-889-5152

www.www.nationaleatingdisorders.org