How to Understand, Recognize, and Treat Eating Disorders
One day Dr. Dagmar Pauli decided that she no longer wanted to resign herself to hearing the same stories over and over again. Stories of girls and boys who have slipped from dieting into anorexia. Because they believe, they are ugly and “too fat.” Because they feel like the only way they can finally become popular and attractive is by losing weight. All too frequently, this means they may develop a life-threatening eating disorder. Dr. Pauli’s frustration with this trend is what inspired her to write Size Zero, in hopes of shedding some light on this obsession with physical appearance and anorexia.
This book is written for those affected by and at risk for developing an eating disorder: young people who have selfdoubt and a deep-seated need for affirmation. From very early on, their brains have been bombarded with images of super-thin celebrities and models. These are adolescents who have grown up in a world of “good and bad fats” and whose parents may have experimented with many kinds of diets themselves. The whole family is affected and Size Zero is also aimed at concerned parents, who are wondering why their child has an eating disorder and often blame themselves. Regardless of whether they may be a contributing factor to their child’s problems with food, it’s important for them to understand how they can help with their child’s recovery. Dr. Pauli also addresses society and public policy: what are we doing to prevent our children from succumbing to excessive dieting? How might we counteract social trends that could be harmful to our youth? Our society’s unhealthy obsession with physical perfection often serves as a breeding ground for eating disorders and we need to fully acknowledge the situation in order to create effective strategies for dealing with this pervasive problem. As Dr. Pauli emphasizes, it is not just about treating but also preventing eating disorders in the future.
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