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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 08/20/08

Do Jewish girls have eating disorders?

Eating disorders are so common in America that one or two out of every 100 students will struggle with one. The most common types of eating disorder are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (usually called simply "anorexia" and "bulimia"). However, other food-related disorders, like binge eating disorders, body image disorders, and food phobias, are showing up more frequently than they used to. Sometimes a person with anorexia or bulimia starts out just trying to lose some weight or hoping to get in shape but the urge to eat less or to purge spirals out of control.

In the Jewish Community

Girls and boys from all ethnic and racial groups may suffer from eating disorders and disordered eating. The specific nature of the most common eating problems, as well as risk and protective factors, may vary from group to group but no population is exempt. Jewish girls suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia just as often as any other teenager does. Whether spurred by peer-pressure or fear of shidduchim, every principal of a Jewish girl’s high school can attest that they have had students with eating disorders. Of course, those are only the girls who recognize their disorder. So many girls suffer in silence, not willing to face the fact that they are seriously ill.

Use the following links to educate yourself about eating disorders. Learn about different kinds of eating disorders, what they are caused by, and how they can be prevented.

Frequently Asked Links

Where can I learn about eating disorders? more

Where can my child learn about eating disorders?

What are some common questions about eating disorders?

What are some of the signs, causes, and effects of eating disorders?

What are some of the causes of eating disorders?

What are some of the symptoms of eating disorders?

What are some unusual types of eating disorders?

Can criticism about one’s appearance result in an eating disorder?

Where can I find information about anorexia?

What is binge eating?

Where can I find information about binge eating disorder?

What are some of the symptoms of overeating disorder?

What can help someone with an eating disorder recover?

What can I do for my child with an eating disorder?

How can I help my child recover from an eating disorder?

What does treatment for an eating disorder involve?

How can a psychologist help my child recover from an eating disorder?

Mental health resources

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

How can unmonitored use of the internet harm one with an eating disorder?

How can my teenager help a friend with an eating disorder? more more

Can eating disorders be prevented?

What can I do to prevent my child from developing an eating disorder?

What can teachers do to prevent eating disorders? more more

How can my teenager learn healthy dieting skills?

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National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
ANAD is a national nonprofit organization for people with eating disorders and their families. In addition to its hotline counseling, ANAD operates an international network of support groups and offers referrals to health care professionals who treat eating disorders. Contact them at: ANAD Box 7 Highland Park, IL 60035 (847) 831-3438

Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia
This nonprofit organization is concerned with effective treatment, specialized training, significant research, and increased community understanding. Contact the group at: Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia 1841 Broadway, 4th Floor New York, NY 10023 (212) 333-3444

National Eating Disorders Association
The NEDA is a nonprofit association dedicated to the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Contact them at: National Eating Disorders Association 603 Stewart St. Suite 803 Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 382-3587

Center for Eating Disorders
St. Joseph Medical Center's Center for Eating Disorders offers news, information, and support. Call: (410) 427-2100

ANRED: Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders
ANRED is a nonprofit organization with information about eating disorders. ANRED offers material that stresses recovery and prevention of eating disorders.

Overeaters Anonymous
This organization is dedicated to helping people recover from compulsive overeating.

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