From obsession to disorder

Learn about: From obsession to disorder from Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD,...
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From obsession to disorder

An obsession about weight or dieting and or both or either is a concern. You do not want to wait as a parent until your child is diagnosed with an eating disorder before you do anything about it. The diagnosis criteria is so high that if you wait until then, your chance of treating the eating disorder successfully is lower. You want to treat at the beginning. You have your best chance of recovery without intensive treatment so weight obsession and dieting deserves attention. Whether parents can handle it by themselves, turn it around at home, it is always the first place to go and if that is not going well, if it is causing conflict or it is getting worse, then you get professional help. A patient of mine who was barely a patient because she did so well had this wonderful line. She said when I was in high school, all my friends went on a diet. I went home and told my mother about it. And my mother said it is against the rules for dieting in this household. So the girl went back to her friends and said sorry, I cannot join you on the diet. My mother will not let me diet. Beautiful, beautiful. Her parents said I cannot diet just like it is not okay for me to smoke. My family does not allow it. That is the kind of standards that I think families should have and parents saying no dieting in our household. When you are 21, when we are not supporting you, you may diet. You cannot diet here.

Learn about: From obsession to disorder from Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD,...


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Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, LD


Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RD, is the founder of Dartmouth College’s nationally renowned nutrition programs. Currently, Dr. Herrin conducts a private practice in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Marcia received her doctorate in nutrition education from Columbia University. At the University of California-Berkeley, she received her master’s degree and completed a dietetic internship. More recently, Marcia has completed two trainings with James Lock and Daniel le Grange in Family-Based Treatment (Maudsley). She also is certified in Childhood, Adolescent, and Adult Weight Management. Besides a fulltime counseling practice, Marcia has written three books and is working on her fourth. The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders tells parents everything they need to know about eating disorders. Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders tells professionals everything they need to know about working with food in eating disorders. Marcia has been featured in People magazine and on Today and 48 Hours. Marcia credits much of her success with patients with eating disorders and obesity to her own struggles with and recovery from these conditions. Her childhood, as the oldest of six children growing up on a Montana ranch, is another significant influence.

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