For carer support, call us today: 0800 2 EDANZ or (09) 5222 679

May 2024 Newsletter

IN THIS ISSUE...

Message from the Chair

Research Corner:
  • Have your say in shaping future research into caring for or supporting someone with an eating disorder!
  • Participate in research conducted by AUT and Eating Disorder Carer Support NZ (EDCS)
What is orthorexia nervosa?
  • Orthorexia: An eating disorder that few people understand and many accidentally applaud
  • Striving for the ‘perfect’ body led to orthorexia and harsh lessons
  • ‘You Are Not Alone, We’ve Got You’: Power Plays, Devotion, and Punishment on Healthy Eating and Pro-Eating Disorder Websites
Upcoming EDANZ support meetings



Welcome to the May edition of the EDANZ newsletter. We have a lot to share with you this month, starting with a request: There is one month left to take part in the EDANZ co-development survey, and we want to hear from you! Please read on to find out how you can take part.

This month’s theme is a lesser-known but common eating disorder: orthorexia nervosa. Orthorexia is not yet recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition, (the psychiatric diagnostic handbook) but there are calls to recognise it in the next edition. Orthorexia refers to a fixation upon “clean” or “healthy” eating, which may progress into a complete elimination of entire food groups. With the rise of diets like Keto and Paleo, orthorexia is becoming more common as we are bombarded with messages about “right” versus “wrong” food. Importantly, if you or a loved one are affected by orthorexia, there is hope – as discussed in the articles included here. 

Remember: our call lines are always open – you are not alone.

Sending you good wishes and hope
Wiebke



Research Corner
Take our co-development survey

We want you to take part in the EDANZ co-development survey! 

Add your voice before 31 May

If you haven’t already, please consider taking part in our very first EDANZ survey.  

This survey is the first of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is the first step in our co-development project. The outcomes will help us work out what the priorities are for future research into carers and supporters of someone with an eating disorder. We want you to have your say!

The survey is open until 31 May. Follow the link for further information and to complete the survey.

Go to Survey

If you have any questions, please contact Meg: meg@ed.org.nz

https://forms.office.com/r/kwLYf1CSmF

We acknowledge Joanne Stephenson of Ashburton for her generous bequest to EDANZ for research.




AUT and EDCS Research Survey

Participate in research conducted by AUT and Eating Disorder Carer Support NZ (EDCS)

AUT and EDCS have teamed up to run a study looking at support for carers of people with eating disorders in Aotearoa. The anonymous survey will take around 20 minutes. 

Eligible participants: 

  • Are over the age of 18  
  • Reside in New Zealand
  • Are or were the caregiver of a loved one with an eating disorder

Find participant information and the survey here:

Go to Survey





Orthorexia: An eating disorder that few people understand and many accidentally applaud

Orthorexia: An eating disorder that few people understand and many accidentally applaud

This article explores the symptoms of orthorexia, the consequences on a person’s life, and what treatment can look like. It is a good reminder that although orthorexia is not yet a formally recognised disorder, there are approaches to treatment that work, and there is hope.

“It might take a fair amount of educating friends and family members, helping them to have understanding and compassion for why them commenting about the new juice cleanse they’re on is activating…. And those in recovery also need to have compassion for themselves.”

Read Article




Striving for the ‘perfect’ body led to orthorexia and harsh lessons

Striving for the ‘perfect’ body led to orthorexia and harsh lessons

Nats Levi shares her personal experience of the rigid and isolating world of orthorexia. Many of us can probably relate to aspects of her journey, as moralising about food is so ingrained in our culture. But she shares an important message – health is about how you feel, not how you look.

“It’s such a distorted view – the orthorexic one. You’ll turn down some delicious rich, dark, anti-oxidant-rich chocolate, just because it’s chocolate. But you’ll eat some horrible, highly processed protein bar…. I distinctly remember a moment when I knew I was better. I was at a family birthday and enjoying a piece cake. Not a “health cake”, just an ordinary sugary chocolate cake, I ate it and liked it.”

Read Article


Power Plays, Devotion, and Punishment on Healthy Eating and Pro-Eating Disorder Websites

‘You Are Not Alone, We’ve Got You’: Power Plays, Devotion, and Punishment on Healthy Eating and Pro-Eating Disorder Websites

This study explores the similarities between the messages promoted on “Healthy Eating” and “Pro-Eating Disorder” websites. While the overt focuses of the websites were different, there were similarities in how the websites made women feel flawed, used “us” and “them” language, and promoted a culture of devotion and restriction. It is research like this that really highlights the blurred line between “clean eating” and an eating disorder.

“By considering these phenomena, the ways in which individuals on online platforms potentially transition from moderate to extreme eating behaviours can be better understood by policy makers attempting to break the cycle of transition from healthy to more pathological forms of eating behaviours.”

Read Study




EDANZ Support Group Meetings

Upcoming support group meetings

EDANZ believes parents/carers have unique abilities to support one another and we hold regular meetings to which you are warmly invited. Currently, we're joining together around the country once a month thanks to videoconferencing technology. 

If you would like to participate in a virtual support group, please RSVP to info@ed.org.nz and we'll send you the link.

Meetings in 2024 will be held on the first Wednesday of each month at 8pm-9pm.

Upcoming meetings:

  • Wednesday, 5th June, 8pm
  • Wednesday, 3rd July, 8pm

More information can be found on our website Parent/Carer Support Groups page

Remember: EDANZ helpline is open throughout the year – please don’t hesitate to contact us info@ed.org.nz or leave a message on the phone 0800 2 EDANZ and we will get back to you as soon as we can. If you are concerned about the safety of someone, please ring 111 or go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital.