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It’s Time to Talk About Eating Disorders
    By: Stacey Uhl

    In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 20-26, 2011, ECRI Institute shares new research on effective treatments for bulimia nervosa.

    The National Eating Disorders Association's slogan for this year’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week—"It's Time to Talk about It"—got us thinking about what’s important to the family and friends of individuals struggling with bulimia nervosa. They want to know how to help and they want to know which treatments work.

    Bulimia nervosa is a serious, complex, and potentially life-threatening mental health disorder. It is not  just a disorder that affects young woman. It affects females and males, people as young as eight  and as old as 60, people who appear thin and people who appear overweight. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person engages in binge eating (eating a lot of food in a short amount of time) followed by some type of behavior to prevent weight gain from the food that was eaten.

    A new evidence report by ECRI Institute compared the effectiveness of available treatments for bulimia nervosa. We found some new and promising results in this updated systematic review, namely that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective than antidepressant medications and supportive therapies in improving eating disorder symptoms.

    This is a significant new finding. 

    Individuals who receive cognitive behavioral therapy are less likely to engage in binge eating episodes than individuals treated with antidepressant medications and are more likely to go into remission from purging and demonstrate improvements in associated eating disorder symptoms than individuals treated with supportive therapies.

    The full evidence report and an easy to understand summary are available for free at With close to two million visits since the site was launched in 2006, the Bulimia Nervosa Resource Center provides all those affected with bulimia nervosa an easily accessible and important resource that  includes a searchable directory of treatment centers for bulimia nervosa, a list of ongoing clinical trials, a review of state mental health parity laws and mandates, a catalog of current health insurance coverage policies for bulimia nervosa, and links to other relevant resources. Watch our viedo on the Assessment on the Effectiveness of Available Treatments for Bulimia Nervosa.

    It’s time to talk. So, spread the word about this important resource and please share your thoughts with us about any additional information or other helpful resources that might improve the value of the Bulimia Nervosa Resource Center. We care.


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