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Viewing blog posts categorized under "Nutrition"

Why We Limit Hyper-Palatable Foods for One Year

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 22, 2016 at 9:50am

When I was first introduced to the Minnesota Semi-Starvation Study (MSSS), published in 1950 by Ancel Keys and his team, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data they were able to accumulate about the physical and psychological ramifications of semi-starvation in humans.

It was mind-blowing. Then I came across the graph on page 106 of the hardbound edition called “Over-all Changes in Body Weight in the Minnesota Experiment” with the subtitle: “Expressed as a percentage of the…

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The Role of Parents in Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 16, 2015 at 4:30pm

Possibly nothing has changed so much over the last ten years as the acceptance of parents’ role in the treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders.

When I founded Kartini Clinic in 1998, “dysfunctional” parents were widely considered to cause eating disorders in general and anorexia nervosa in particular.  Toxic and enmeshed mothers were commonly cited by therapists, doctors and lay people as the common denominator in these illnesses.  In fact, eating disorders were…

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Goodbye, Bryan

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 4, 2015 at 11:59am

Anyone who knows me knows that I am no longer young. Yet I have teachers. My patients are my teachers and some of my colleagues are (still) my teachers. At this stage in the student/teacher relationship we often teach each other: we debate, we discuss, we disagree, we commiserate, we laugh.  As one of my general pediatrics colleagues told me the other day “what you do is hard; not everyone can love your patients”.  But I know someone who can and does -- now, sadly, past tense could…

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The Trouble With Accurate Eating Disorder Diagnoses

posted by Julie O'Toole on July 15, 2015 at 4:20pm

Almost anyone who works in a specialized field (such as pediatric eating disorders) spends a great deal of time thinking about diagnostic criteria for diseases and conditions.  This is true throughout medicine and psychiatry, of course:  is it type 1 or type 2 diabetes?  Is it autism or pervasive developmental disorder?  Is it bulimia nervosa or binge purge anorexia nervosa? Is it eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS, a term no longer included in DSM-5) or anorexia nervosa?Read More

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The Suffering of Others

posted by Julie O'Toole on May 8, 2015 at 10:04am

“With what incredible courage we are able to endure the suffering of others” -- My favorite quote from English garden writer Christopher Lloyd.  And nowhere does it apply more than in medicine.  And within the world of medicine, nowhere more than in the world of mental health.

When my neighbor is poor, he deserves it for his sloth and lack of thrift.  When I am poor, I am the victim of unfairness and persecution.  When a young man medicates his abdominal pain with narcotics, he just…

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Avoiding negative energy balance

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 26, 2015 at 5:01pm

Last week I was pleased to discuss a paper by Walt Kaye and colleagues that I felt strongly supported ordered eating for people with anorexia nervosa.  Ordered eating on our Kartini meal plan has always been the cornerstone of our weight restoration strategy for children and young adults who suffer from this condition. It works and Dr Kaye’s research tells us why.

This week I would like to refer you to a blog written by Cindy Bulik of the University of North Carolina. Cindy is a…

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Connecting the Dots

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 6, 2015 at 4:33pm

Two current Kartini parents handed me an excellent article the other day whose lead author, Walter Kaye, is likely well known to our readers.  The article, Temperament-based Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, appeared in the European Eating Disorders Review.

I was especially pleased to see this article, although many of us have heard Walt speak about meal planning and the latest neuro-biological and neuro-radiological evidence before.  Neuro-biological and neuro-psychological evidence…

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The Surprising Similarities Between Anorexia and Obesity

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 28, 2015 at 10:14am

One thing I've observed over the years is that those readers who are interested in anorexia nervosa seem to have little interest in obesity, which they often seem regard as an lifestyle choice irrelevant to them, while those who study obesity often ask themselves what this rare condition (AN) has to do with their vastly more prevalent (read: important) condition of obesity (OB)? Quite a lot, as it turns out. And by the way, it’s worth repeating at the outset, neither condition is one…

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The Dangers of Staying Slightly Below Weight

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 10, 2014 at 8:35am
I am a pediatric eating disorder doctor and try my best to limit my practice to patients 22 and younger. Why is this hard? Because I have a great treatment team and good treatment is hard to come by, so we sometimes run into deserving and desperate adult patients, whom we simply must refer to adult providers. I say this so that readers of this blog may put my recommendations into the context of the age group with which I am most familiar, although it is my opinion that this topic is… Read More

The Promise of Personalized Medicine

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 3, 2014 at 8:15pm

Advances in medicine come in all shapes and sizes: vaccines, antibiotics, anti-virals, immune system boosters and reducers, technological changes and recently, the hope that faster, cheaper and more accurate genetic analysis can bring us the new approach to medicine and medications: personalized medicine.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, a leading proponent of personalized medicine has been Dr Eric Topol, editor-in-chief of Medscape and director the Scripps Translational…

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