The Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences (FNHS), at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), participated in the International Conference on Eating Disorders (ICED), hosted by the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), along with numerous clinicians, educators, researchers and experts from all over the globe.
During the Middle Eastern Eating Disorders Association (MEEDA) virtual chapter meeting that took place earlier in June, guest speaker Dr. Antoine Aoun, Associate Professor (FNHS) and University Physician for students, delivered a session about Eating Disorders (ED) and war stress. The session highlighted several studies and research work recently published by NDU faculty members and students. Among the main points that Dr. Aoun discussed were the following:
What are Eating Disorders?
ED are psychiatric disorders surrounding weight and food issues that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males. The worldwide prevalence of ED among adolescents is around 10%, with a peak of occurrence in females from 15 to 19 years old. In the last decade, studies indicate a gradual increase of ED in Western and non‐Western countries.
Based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the main types of ED are Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and Feeding or Eating Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified (FEDNEC). Cases may go unreported due to the sensitive nature and secretive behaviors associated with these disorders.
What are the possible risk factors?
Several factors have been correlated with an increased incidence of ED such as:
- Female gender
- Family history of ED
- Genetic and neurobiological vulnerabilities
- Comorbid psychiatric disorders
- Premorbid dieting, shape concerns and negative self-evaluation
- Life adversity (including trauma, abuse, and death among close relatives)
What is the prognosis?
More than 50% and 80% of patients with AN and BN fully recover, respectively. Greater awareness, targeted assessment and adequate multidisciplinary treatment efforts can prevent functional impairment and serious health consequences of ED.
What is the relation between war stress and ED?
Experiencing war is among the most stressful life events and has been associated with an increased incidence of anxiety, depression, and post‐traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Although people who experience war are evaluated for other mental health problems, currently, there are no standardized screening and assessment for ED. One of our studies showed that individuals with positive screening for PTSD had a three times higher risk of having a positive screen for ED. Therefore, we may be missing opportunities to detect and treat these harmful and potentially fatal conditions.
For more clarifications about ED, please contact the medical house (Ext: 2269; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org