Fighting Stigma with Science
At the forefront of my mission through the Hope Network is to remove the stigma from eating disorders and to raise money for eating disorder research—an area that is historically overlooked and underfunded. Dr. Cynthia M. Bulik, Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shares a similar goal, and I encourage you to watch her short video that was recently released by the National Eating Disorder Association titled “Fighting Stigma with Science.” Click here to watch: http://vimeo.com/1715091.
In just 12 minutes, Dr. Bulik shows through extensive research analysis that eating disorders are not a direct product of poor parenting, a weight-obsessed society or other environmental factors. Rather, genetics play a clear role in an individual’s susceptibility to an eating disorder. In fact, studies have shown that a person is 7-12 times MORE likely to have an eating disorder if a relative has suffered from one. For more information, see the full video:http://vimeo.com/1715091.
What I found particularly important in this video is Dr. Bulik’s insistence that due to the hereditary component of eating disorders, parents and families need to remember that THEY SHOULDN’T BLAME THEMSELVES. There is no parenting style that leads to an eating disorder. On the contrary, families are our best allies in treating eating disorders. Their support is crucial to help those suffering from an eating disorder to rise above the environmental factors that they are biologically more susceptible to.
Just as with any other illness, the biological cure is found through research. Eating disorder research is tragically underfunded, so help me and dozens of other organizations change that by donating today. Dr. Bulik’s research is a huge step in destigmatizing eating disorders; so let’s keep the momentum going.