Tag Archives: eating disorders

Teens with Eating Disorders Try Yoga

If the thought of yoga doesn’t bring to mind long-haired, half-naked gurus in India, it probably makes you think of thin young people in pretzel poses. True that, but it’s also become popular among populations that you might not expect. Yoga increasingly is being incorporated into treatment programs for young people who may be too thin or too fat – adolescents with eating disorders.

Yoginis relax and stretch. (Courtesy Wikimedia Commons/zivpu/Creative Commons License)

Dr. Cora C. Breuner helped conduct a study of 50 girls and 4 boys with diagnosed eating disorders. Participants were randomized to treatment with standard care (every-other-week appointments with physicians or dieticians) or standard care plus individualized yoga for 12 weeks. The yoga group showed significantly reduced food preoccupation immediately after each yoga session and significantly decreased Eating Disorder Examination scores at 12 weeks (J. Adolesc. Health;2010;46:346-51).

Speaking at the annual meeting of the North Pacific Pediatric Society, she gave a brief update: the teens in the yoga group showed greater improvements in weight a year after the study ended compared with the control group.

Dr. Cora C. Breuner (Sherry Boschert/IMNG Medical Media)

“Pretty much every eating disorders unit in the country now has yoga,” said Dr. Breuner, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, Seattle.

I don’t know about every eating disorders program, but a quick look on the Web found plenty that include yoga and lots of independent yoga classes geared toward people with eating disorders. On this list of eating disorder treatment programs from EDreferral.com, for example, yoga is mentioned by nine facilities in California and one each in Arizona, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. I found others online in Michigan and Washington, too, with just a few clicks.

Dr. Breuner’s 2010 study isn’t the only one endorsing yoga for eating disorders. Here’s another (Psychology of Women Quarterly 2005;29:207-19). Columbia University reported on this trend in 2007. And the Wall Street Journal reported in 2011 on increasing use of yoga not only for kids with disorders but for healthy students, under the clever headline, “Namaste. Now Nap Time.”

Some of the key goals of yoga are to strengthen the mind and body and the connection between the two. It’s not a solo treatment for eating disorders, but it supplements the standard strategies of weight stabilization, nutrition therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and family-based therapy.

That last one is another big change in the field that has happened since Stanford University researchers began showing in 2007 that it’s very helpful in treating children and adolescents to use parents as agents for positive change in a non-judgmental manner.

“Now we bring parents in right away to help with refeeding the child,” Dr. Breuner said.

It’s only a matter of time, I suspect, until we see special yoga classes for parents of children with eating disorders.

–Sherry Boschert (on Twitter @sherryboschert)

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Filed under Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Clinical Psychiatry News, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Primary care, Psychiatry, Uncategorized

Video of the Week: Despite CV Risks, Meridia Offers Help to the Right Patient

Researchers  involved in the Sibutramine and the Role of Obesity Management in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease in Overweight and Obese Patients (SCOUT) trial have concluded that long-term use of the weight loss drug sibutramine (Meridia) was not associated with an increased risk of death; however, the drug was associated with a significantly increased risk of nonfatal myocardial infarctions and strokes among overweight and obese people with preexisting cardiovascular conditions. The findings were presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm, and then published in the September 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Read our story by Elizabeth Mechcatie here.

Mitchel Zoler spoke with Dr. Stephan Rössner of the obesity unit at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who was an invited discussant for the SCOUT presentation. The drug is still a good option for patients without cardiovascular problems, he said.  Sibutramine can be considered for patients with eating disorders, sleep apnea or arthritis, who need additional help losing  or maintaining weight, provided that cardiovascular risk factors are monitored, he added.

Check back here or at Internal Medicine News next week, when Elizabeth Mechcatie will be covering the FDA Advisory Committee meeting on sibutramine September 15-16. You can follow Elizabeth’s coverage on Twitter, @ElizMech.

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Filed under Cardiovascular Medicine, Drug And Device Safety, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Family Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine, Video