Treatment for Eating Disorders

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Risk of Death

People between 15 and 24 with anorexia have 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers.

Fichter, M. M., & Quadflieg, N. (2016). Mortality in eating disorders – Results of a large prospective clinical longitudinal study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, Epub ahead of print. 

Athletes and Eating Disorders

Over one-third of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa.

Johnson, C. Powers, P.S., and Dick, R. Athletes and Eating Disorders: The National Collegiate Athletic Association Study, Int J Eat Disord 1999; 6:179.

Eating Disorders Start Young

40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat.  This concern endures through life.

Smolak, L. (2011). Body image development in childhood. In T. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.),  Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention (2nd ed.).New York: Guilford. 

The Idealization of Thinness

The best-known environmental contributor to the development of eating disorders is the sociocultural idealization of thinness.

Culbert, K. M., Racine, S. E., & Klump, K. L. (2015). Research Review: What we have learned about the causes of eating disorders – a synthesis of sociocultural, psychological, and biological research. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 56(11), 1141-1164. 

Dieting & Binge Eating

Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet.

 Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat!.New York: Guilford.

Increasingly Common

Binge Eating Disorder is more common than breast cancer, HIV, and schizophrenia. 

Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, and Kessler RC. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3):348-58. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040.

Starting at age 6

By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape.

Smolak, L. (2011). Body image development in childhood. In T. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.),  Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention (2nd ed.).New York: Guilford. 

Media Influence

Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight.

Martin, J. B. (2010). The Development of Ideal Body Image Perceptions in the United States. Nutrition Today, 45(3), 98-100. Retrieved from

Risk of Death in Men

Males represent 25% of individuals with anorexia nervosa, and they are at a higher risk of dying, in part because they are often diagnosed later since many people assume males don’t have eating disorders.

Mond, J.M., Mitchison, D., & Hay, P. (2014) “Prevalence and implications of eating disordered behavior in men” in Cohn, L., Lemberg, R. (2014) Current Findings on Males with Eating Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge. 

High Mortality Rate

Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opioid addiction.

Chesney, E., Goodwin, G. M., & Fazel, S. (2014). Risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in mental disorders: a meta-review. World Psychiatry, 13(2), 153-160.

Weight Shaming

Weight stigma poses a significant threat to psychological and physical health. It has been documented as a significant risk factor for depression, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction.

Andreyeva, T., Puhl, R. M. and Brownell, K. D. (2008), Changes in Perceived Weight Discrimination Among Americans, 1995–1996 Through 2004–2006. Obesity, 16: 1129–1134. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.35


Anxiety & Eating Disorders

Two-thirds of people with anorexia also showed signs of an anxiety disorder several years before the start of their eating disorder.

Tagay, S., Schlottbohm, E., Reyes-Rodriguez, M. L., Repic, N., & Senf, W. (2014). Eating disorders, trauma, PTSD, and psychosocial resources. Eating disorders, 22(1), 33-49.

Unnecessary Dieting

Even among clearly non-overweight girls, over 1/3 report dieting.

Wertheim, E., Paxton, S., &Blaney, S. (2009).Body image in girls.In L. Smolak & J. K. Thompson (Eds.), Body image, eating disorders, and obesity in youth: Assessment, prevention, and treatment (2nd ed.) (pp. 47-76). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. 

Anorexia is Deadly

Anorexia has an estimated mortality rate of around 10%.

Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with Anorexia Nervosa and other eating disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.


Diets Don't Work

95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years

Neumark-Sztainer D., Haines, J., Wall, M., & Eisenberg, M. ( 2007). Why does dieting predict weight gain in adolescents? Findings from project EAT-II: a 5-year longitudinal study. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 107(3), 448-55


Social Media & Eating Disorders

One study of teen girls found that social media users were significantly more likely than non-social media users to have internalized a drive for thinness and to engage in body surveillance. 

    Zhao, Y., Encinosa, W. Update on Hospitalizations for Eating Disorders, 1999 to 2009. HCUP Statistical Brief #120. September, 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

    Eating Disorder Treatment at Therapeutic Oasis

    Comprehensive Approach

    If left untreated (or under-treated), eating disorders can cause irreversible and devastating effects on health and happiness, and even lead to death. Therapeutic Oasis understands that eating disorders are highly complex, and that patients may also have underlying or co-existing disorders.  This complexity requires a comprehensive approach  to treatment.  With our experienced IAEDP Certified Eating Disorder Specialists and our diverse team of specialists, Oasis can provide the high quality of care needed to heal from and overcome eating disorders.

    Trauma Sensitive

    Therapeutic Oasis is sensitive to the reality that many of our clients have endured trauma in their past. We offer a tranquil and safe environment for therapy and nutritional programs where clients are able to heal through evidenced-based therapies and nutritional programs.

    Components of Treatment at Oasis

    • Intensive Treatment Programs
    • IAEDP Certified Therapists
    • Individual Therapy
    • Treatment for Adults and Teens
    • Nutrition Therapy
    • Structured Movement
    • Meal Support
    • Team Approach to Treatment
    • Trauma Sensitive Environment
    • Family Support

    Want to learn more about how Oasis can help with Eating Disorders?  Give us a call at (561) 278-6033 or email us at

    Difficult to Treat

    Eating disorders are not a choice or a lifestyle. They are serious mental health conditions that can have devastating consequences for individuals and their loved ones. Eating disorders can develop at any age, but they often emerge during adolescence and early adulthood. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the typical age of onset for anorexia nervosa is 16-17 years old, bulimia nervosa is 18-19 years old, and binge-eating disorder is 20-24 years old. In addition to these statistics, women in middle age are struggling with eating disorders at alarming rates and males, while historically representing a lower prevalence than females, are being diagnosed more readily than in the past.

    Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that involve physical, psychological, and emotional components. They often co-occur with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. People with eating disorders may be resistant to treatment. They may have a strong attachment to their eating disorder as a coping mechanism and may feel like they are losing control when asked to change their behaviors. These conditions can complicate treatment and make it harder to achieve full recovery.

    Despite these challenges, it’s important to note that eating disorders are treatable, and recovery is possible with the right support and resources. Effective treatment is comprehensive, involving a combination of therapy, medication, and nutritional counseling.

    What Causes Eating Disorders?

    The exact causes of eating disorders are not yet fully understood, but there are several factors that have been identified as potential contributors to the development of these disorders.

    Genetics: There is evidence to suggest that genetic factors may play a role in the development of eating disorders. Individuals with a family history of eating disorders are more likely to develop these conditions.

    Environmental factors: Social and cultural pressures to conform to a certain body type or appearance can contribute to the development of eating disorders. These pressures can come from peers, family, and the media.

    Psychological factors: Eating disorders are often associated with psychological factors, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and perfectionism. Some people may use food and weight control as a way to cope with difficult emotions or life stressors.

    Neurobiological factors: There is some evidence to suggest that certain brain chemicals and hormones may play a role in the development of eating disorders. For example, imbalances in serotonin, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters may contribute to disordered eating behaviors.


    We treat a variety of conditions from simple to complex including:

    Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
    Body Image Issues
    Food Restriction