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June 29, 2018

KARE11 News Interview: Eating Disorder Facts and Advice

Misconceptions about eating disorders often keep people from getting the treatment they need. We’re thankful to the KARE 11 news team for asking our Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Jillian Lampert into their studio to educate viewers. During the interview, she offered tips for helping a friend or loved one who may be struggling with food issues. Approximately 180,000 Minnesotans have an eating disorder right now.

Lampert helped NBC viewers to understand that eating disorders are an illness. “They’re not a choice. They’re not a behavior problem. They’re not a phase. They’re not a lack of willpower. They’re an illness with biological and genetic roots that are influenced by culture. And they need treatment. Just like any other illness.”

She added that people often think eating disorders only affect young, underweight girls. But the reality is they do not discriminate. “At The Emily Program, we have people as young as 8. We have people as old as 78. We have all genders. All ages. All ethnicities.”

Time and support are keys to eating disorder recovery. Lampert explained that convenient, accessible treatment enables people to make recovery part of their regular lives. The Emily Program provides people with local access to treatment and is celebrating 25 years of care. We offer a full range of services at our locations in St. Louis Park, Duluth, Woodbury, and St. Paul. These include everything from 24/7 residential care to once-a-week outpatient care. Intervention often involves therapists, dietitians, and medical staff working together.

Because treatments have improved, Lampert said an eating disorder doesn’t have to be a lifelong battle. Recovery is possible. “There’s hope. There’s really a way to have a different life,” she said. If you know someone who may be struggling with an eating disorder, here are three tips Lampert gave during this interview:

1. Say something. Lampert said some people hesitate because they think it’s none of their business. “Care and compassion and concern are all of our business.”

2. Start with an “I” statement and be persistent. Try, “I’m concerned about how you’re eating. Or I’m concerned about what you’re saying about exercise,” Lampert said. These illnesses can be deadly, so don’t give up. Continue to show concern and offer help.

3. Be a good role model. Children and adults pick up on any negative things we say about our own bodies and eating. That fuels the cultural obsession with appearance. Using positive words and celebrating our bodies will go a long way toward preventing eating disorders.

The Emily Program provides treatment closer to home in a warm, welcoming environment. People experience The Emily Program as a safe place. They feel understood, often for the first time. Call us at 888-364-5977. Our personalized care is available at 14 locations in Minnesota, Washington state, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

Get help. Find hope.