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I am a 24 year old woman with a history of having an eating disorder. I have several friends and a boyfriend who always ask me to explain things to them, but other than personal experiences, I don't have a lot of clinical things to tell them. I was wondering if anyone could recommend any books about eating disorders which I could have them read (and read myself). I have had this problem since I was eleven and I am somewhat embarassed that I know so few hard facts about it. Thank you, Rebecca

You don't have to be embarassed about knowing so few facts about eating disorders--personal experience is so much more important that clinic statistics. As for basic facts--you can contact the National Institute on Mental Health at 202-833-5900. Per government classification, eating disorders are a mental health disease rather than a physical illness. As for books, there is:

  • Fasting Girls by Joan Brumberg
  • Feminist Perspectives on Eating Disorders edited by Patricia Fallon, Melanie A. Katzman, and Susan C. Wooley

Less specific, but equally valuable, there is:

  • The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf Little Girls in Pretty Boxes by Joan Ryan.
Please visit the FEMINIST.COM Bookstore for these books and other ideas.

I have also read articles on this topic in Essence Magazine and Ms. Magazine. You might also consider speaking to a professional. You can try using FEMINIST.COM's searchable nationwide database to find an Eating Disorder Treatment Center near you.

I hope the above is helpful. Good luck and thank you for taking the time to educate others on the subject--education could be the first step toward eradication.


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