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Would You Prefer Longevity Or A Perfect Figure?

I’ve spent some time thinking about this survey.   I couldn’t find any better information on the survey than the press release from the University of the West of England (UWE).  Perhaps in the future it will be published in a journal for better review.

The  survey was apparently done by the  new eating disorder charity The Succeed Foundation in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE).  The editor’s notes indicate 320 women (ages 18 – 65 years, average age 24.49)  studying at 20 British universities completed The Succeed Foundation Body Image Survey in March 2011.

Notably, the survey found that 30% of women would trade at least one year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight and shape. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

British Women Would Trade Longer Life For Thinner Bodies

College-aged women in the UK say they would trade longevity for an ideal body weight.

320 women studying at 20 British universities (ages 18-65; average, 24.49) completed a survey in March.

The research, conducted for new eating disorder charity The Succeed Foundation, in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE), found that nearly 30% of women would trade at least one year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight and shape:
–16% would trade 1 year of their life
–10% would trade 2-5 years
–2% would trade 6-10 years
–1% would trade 21 years or more Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Hope For Those With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The Science Daily article entitled Body dysmorphic disorder patients who loathe appearance often get better, but it could take years discusses the disorder as highlighted in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD).  

The JNMD article reports the results of the longest-term study so far to track people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). The study was conducted by researchers at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. The good news? The researchers “found high rates of recovery, although recovery can take more than five years.”

This is a small study with only 15 BDD patients who were followed over an eight-year span. An excerpt:

After statistical adjustments, the recovery rate for sufferers in the study over eight years was 76 percent and the recurrence rate was 14 percent. While a few sufferers recovered within two years, only about half had recovered after five years.

The subjects were a small group diagnosed with the disorder out of hundreds of people participating in the Harvard/Brown Anxiety Research Project (HARP). Study co-author Martin Keller, professor of psychiatry and human behavior and principal investigator of the HARP research program which has been ongoing for more than 20 years, said that because the BDD sufferers were identified through this broader anxiety study, rather than being recruited specifically because they had been diagnosed with BDD, they generally had more subtle cases of the disorder than people in other BDD studies. In comparing the HARP study with the prior longitudinal study of BDD, it is possible that the high recovery rate in the HARP study is due to participants having less severe BDD on average.

 About body dysmorphic disorder:

– In its simplest definition, it is an obsessive preoccupation with a slight, imperceptible, or actually nonexistent anatomic irregularity to the degree that it interferes with normal adjustment within society. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Female Cosmetic Genital Surgery: Should It Be Done?

I seem to be asked more often these days if I do vulva reduction surgery. I’ve even been asked if I “refresh” vaginas (in which I refer them to their gynecologist.) I’m happy it’s a extremely small part of my practice.

I’m also happy to see that the current issue of Reproductive Health Matters is taking a close look at cosmetic surgery, especially female cosmetic genital surgery. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Teen Girls And The “How I Look Journal”

The How I Look Journal was designed for middle school girls in 2007 (revised in 2009), and has been used primarily in group settings, although girls can use it by themselves. Counselors and therapists tend to use the topics as a basis for discussions and teachers prefer using the journal in lesson formats. There is also a companion journal (2009) for mothers called “How I Look at my Daughter, Her World, and Her Future.”

Given I had the week off I decided to review the copies I was sent and am delighted to say that my teenage daughters and I thought the journals are a great idea. The journal prompts help girls identify and celebrate their inner strengths and attributes, manage stress, accept their bodies and dream!

I found myself thinking that the self-talk section was very important as parents cannot hear what teens are saying to themselves in their own heads. We would like to believe that our kids are affirming their healthy and positive decisions and characteristics, but the reality may be that they are using “bully talk” to themselves, saying things like “I am dumb, ugly inconsiderate, mean …” These negative statements undermine their self-confidence, but are difficult to change, especially if they are reinforced by comments parents (inadvertently) make when annoyed.. Read more »

This post, Teen Girls And The “How I Look Journal”, was originally published on Healthine.com by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

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I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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