Navigating the Challenges of Returning to School for Children and Adolescents with Overeating or Binge Eating Disorders

Returning to school can be a challenging experience for children and adolescents with overeating or binge eating disorders. The school environment, with its academic pressures, social dynamics, and other social factors, often exacerbates the struggles faced by these young individuals. Understanding these challenges and providing supportive strategies is crucial for students, parents, and educators to foster a healthy and nurturing school experience. Let’s look at some of the challenges and solutions. Understanding the Challenges Social Stigma: Weight Bias and Bullying One of the primary challenges is the social stigma associated with overeating or binge eating disorders. Teens may experience weight bias, where they are judged or discriminated against based on their weight, leading to bullying, teasing, or exclusion by peers. Such negative experiences can intensify feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem. Misunderstanding and Judgment There is often a lack of understanding about binge eating disorder, leading to misconceptions. Peers and even adults might mistakenly view the condition as a lack of willpower or self-control rather than recognizing it as one of the many serious…

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Summer Health Tips: Staying Healthy Over Summer Break with Balanced Diet and Exercise

Ah, summer break! It’s a time for relaxation, fun, and a well-deserved break from school routines. But with this break can come a few challenges, especially when it comes to staying healthy. Without the structured schedule of school days, it’s easy to find ourselves slipping into habits like snacking a bit too often, lounging around more than moving, or getting tempted by all those tasty (but not always healthy) treats. But here’s the good news! Summer also offers a fantastic opportunity to focus on maintaining a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise—without the rush and strict timetables of the school year. It’s the perfect time to explore new activities and foods that keep us feeling great. Achieving a healthy summer is all about embracing these opportunities to stay physically fit and mentally strong, ensuring our well-being throughout the vibrant season. At the Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR), we recognize that family involvement is crucial in the treatment of overweight and obesity. Our approach is built on the understanding that sustainable health…

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Moving Beyond Binge Eating: How Exercise Can Transform Your Journey to Wellness

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder out there, and it's something that a lot of people deal with. Imagine sometimes feeling like you can't stop eating, even if you're already full, and afterward feeling really bad about it. That's what happens when someone has BED. It can also make someone feel really down, anxious, or have a really low opinion of themselves. Getting better from BED isn't about eating less or trying to lose weight. It's about getting help from professionals who understand what's going on in your mind, learning about food in a way that's not scary or all about rules, and finding ways to move your body that make you feel good. So, tackling BED means dealing with it from all sides—talking about thoughts and feelings, developing a balanced relationship with food, and getting active in a fun way. In the next parts, we're going to talk more about how getting moving can be a secret weapon in feeling better again, with some helpful tips for making exercise a…

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Nourishing Spaces: The Art of Organizing Your Home for Healthy Eating Success

Creating a lasting home environment for healthy eating is more than just picking the right foods at the grocery store. This journey includes careful planning, thorough organization, and a strong commitment to making healthier choices easy and attractive for every family member. The heart of building a health-focused household is not just in choosing nutritious foods but also in creating a space that naturally supports these choices. Starting on this path brings many benefits, including a big positive effect on overall health and the development of lifelong healthy eating habits as well as impact weight. A good plan for meal prep, along with smart grocery shopping and organizing your kitchen, lays the foundation for a lifestyle that values nutrition and balance. Planning for Success Starting a foundation for healthy eating begins with smart planning. This method makes sure that every meal and snack adds positively to your family's nutritional needs, promoting a lifestyle that supports health and energy. Here's how you can plan for success: Understanding Nutritional Needs Importance of a Balanced Diet: A balanced…

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From Restrictive Diets to Balanced Eating: Navigating the Path to a Healthier Relationship with Food

In today's society, dieting is the norm for controlling the weight and shape of our bodies. Yet, dieting can have unintended outcomes that conflict with these goals and create a fractured relationship with food and eating. The diet narrative may lead individuals to engage in periods of restrictive behaviors such as strict dieting, skipping meals, eating very little calories, and avoiding certain foods. Ultimately, leaving individuals hungry and unsatisfied. Our bodies are biologically wired to overcompensate for these periods of restriction. Biological mechanisms kick-in and drive us to experience increased hunger signals and potentially eat more than we intended because our bodies recognize these periods of restriction as “famine” or “starvation”. This is known as the binge-restrict cycle. Binge-Restrict Cycle The binge-restrict cycle is a pattern of disordered eating that involves alternating between periods of strict food restriction and episodes of binge eating. This cycle is not only a psychological phenomenon but is also deeply rooted in biological responses to perceived scarcity of food. Understanding the binge-restrict cycle requires exploring its components, triggers, and the…

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The Science of Mindful Eating: Strategies to Combat Emotional Eating

Have you ever turned to food for comfort during difficult times? Do you find that when you’re feeling angry, sad, or even bored, your natural reaction is to seek your favorite foods? You’re not alone! Emotions can often trick you into eating – even if you aren’t feeling truly hungry. Common triggers include work-related stress, finances, relationship difficulties, illness, or social situations like parties and holidays. While emotional eating might feel like an “escape” from the distressing feelings or stressors at hand, this does not solve the problem. Instead, you’re left with two problems: the initial situation which prompted the difficult emotions and second, the negative feelings after an episode of emotional eating (e.g. anxiety, guilt, etc.). In addition, emotional eating can affect one’s food choices by choosing less nutrient-dense options, the quantity of food consumed, and the rate at which someone eats. Since emotional eating often occurs in the absence of hunger, this could lead to overeating as well. Combating Emotional Eating So, what are some strategies to cope with negative emotions in a…

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The Intersection of Mental Health and Eating Disorders: A Comprehensive Overview

Have you ever thought about how eating habits can affect your mind and emotions? Eating disorders are serious illnesses that involve eating too much, too little, or in an unhealthy way. They are not just about food but also about how we feel and think. The Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR) helps people, children, adolescents and adults, who struggle with these problems. What are eating disorders? Let's delve into each of these eating disorders to understand them in more detail. Anorexia Nervosa What is it? Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where individuals have an intense fear of gaining weight and see themselves as overweight even if they are underweight. They often restrict the amount of food they eat, leading to significantly low body weight. Behaviors and Signs Extreme restriction of food intake.Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming 'fat,' even when underweight.Distorted body image – seeing themselves as overweight despite being underweight.In females, missing menstrual periods can be a sign.Weighing themselves frequently and obsessively monitoring their body shape. Health Risks Malnutrition…

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Celebrating Thanksgiving the Healthy Way: Tips and Tasty Recipes

As the leaves turn and the air gets crisp, Thanksgiving approaches with its promise of cozy gatherings and delicious feasts. At The Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR), we're all about embracing the festive spirit while maintaining healthy habits. So, how can you enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest without compromising your well-being? Let's dive into some tips, ideas, and recipes for a fulfilling, health-conscious holiday. Smart Strategies for a Balanced Thanksgiving Moderation is Key 1. Stay Hydrated Why It Helps: Water plays an important role in maintaining your body's balance and ensuring effective digestion. When you're well-hydrated, your stomach sends signals to your brain that can reduce the feeling of hunger. Sometimes, we confuse dehydration with hunger, so staying hydrated can prevent unnecessary snacking.How to Implement: Aim to drink a glass of water before your meal. It's a simple trick to help fill your stomach slightly, so you feel satisfied sooner and are less likely to overeat. 2. Pre-Meal Snacking Why It Helps: Eating a small, nutritious snack like yogurt, a piece of…

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The Science of Healthy Living: From Your Plate to Your Mood

At the heart of health and wellbeing, we find two key players: nutrition and physical activity. UCSD's Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research has dedicated countless hours to understanding the science behind these elements, and today, we'll take a dive into their findings, ensuring that even a 10th grader can appreciate the importance of that salad and morning jog! The Unveiling of Physical Activity's Wonders The Lifeline to Good Health Physical activity is more than just an avenue to lose weight and keep fit; it's a shield against some of the most common health problems. Here's why it's a vital component of health: Disease Prevention: As highlighted by the National Institute of Health, an active lifestyle can be your defense against daunting health issues. Cardiovascular diseases, which include heart attacks and strokes, are less common among those who engage in regular physical activity. High blood pressure, often labeled the 'silent killer', can be kept at bay with exercises like brisk walking. Surprisingly, our exercise habits can influence our chances of getting cancer. Engaging in…

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Fomentar Hábitos Saludables en Niños Latinos a través del Apoyo Familiar

Read this post in English ¿Alguna vez te has preguntado cómo inculcar hábitos saludables en tus hijos? ¡Todo se trata del apoyo familiar! Los hábitos saludables, incluyendo una dieta nutritiva, ejercicio regular y buenas rutinas de sueño, son cruciales para nuestro bienestar y desarrollo. Para los niños latinos, es vital abordar estos aspectos considerando el contexto cultural y la prevalencia de ciertas condiciones de salud en esta comunidad. En esta publicación, veremos cómo fomentar hábitos saludables en niños latinos a través del apoyo familiar. ¡Vamos a profundizar! Hábitos Saludables en Niños: ¿Por Qué Son Importantes? Antes de comenzar, es importante entender por qué los hábitos saludables son cruciales. Estos influyen en la salud física, el éxito académico y el bienestar mental del niño. Un niño con buenos hábitos alimenticios, de ejercicio y de sueño tiene más probabilidades de convertirse en un adulto sano y exitoso. Ahora, exploremos cómo fomentar estos hábitos en un entorno familiar latino. Adoptar Hábitos Alimenticios Saludables En la cultura latina, la comida no es solo sobre nutrición; es una rica tapiz…

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