Marcia Herrin, Ed.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Marcia Herrin Ed.D., M.P.H.,

Eating Disorders News

Recovery is a Healthy State, not Weight

A healthy state is optimal physical, behavioral, and psychological function.

Posted Mar 31, 2013

A question that comes up regularly in the eating disorder field is how to define recovery? Is it a maintaining a certain weight or BMI? It is abstaining from restriction, bingeing, purging, and over-exercise? Is it eating without fear and guilt? Is it accepting one’s body size and shape? Is it self-esteem that is independent of size and shape? Of course it includes all of these factors. I like the idea of recovery defined as a Healthy State. I can’t take credit for this term. Rebecka Peebles, MD, my co-presenter on this topic at the Academy of Eating Disorders International Conference in Montreal in May, tells me that the concept of a "Healthy State, not Weight," was coined by Janet Treasure, MD and several British mothers whose daughters had anorexia. Professor Treasure, a psychiatrist at Guy’s Hospital, King's College London, is a leading figure in the field of eating disorders and the author of several books for parents that are very helpful. Rebecka also pointed me to Dr. Treasure’s unique educational project on youtube that includes a “lesson” on Healthy State, Not Weight and another lesson on how parents can help an eating disordered teen follow a food plan, Modeling Effective Parenting. You have to see these videos to believe them. Picture one-dimensional claymation. They really are educational and precious.  



Nutritionist Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto, co-authors of The Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders, Gūrze Books. Marcia is also author the soon to be published Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders (September, 2012). Read more from Marcia and Nancy by clicking here.

Copyrighted by Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto

About the Authors

Marcia Herrin, Ed.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Marcia Herrin, Ed.D., M.P.H., R.D., is the founder of Dartmouth College's nationally renowned nutrition programs. Currently, Dr. Herrin conducts a private practice in Lebanon, NH.

Nancy Matsumoto

Nancy Matsumoto is a freelance journalist who has written numerous stories on health, eating disorders, and body image.

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