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From The CriticsReviewer: Diana Marta, BSN, RN (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This handbook on eating disorders is designed for anyone who wants or needs to know more about the increasingly pervasive illnesses involving disordered eating. This fifth edition (previous one published in 1997) and adds the important sections of eating disorders and pregnancy and the impact on families. Its first person accounts in the case studies are particularly illuminating and give an enhanced insight into these disorders.
Purpose: The goal is to update the information known about disordered eating in all its manifestations. Because treatment is increasingly being offered in the community and because early intervention can be crucial to improving outcome, this is an important contribution to the body of knowledge on this subject. It is clearly written and well organized making it a good reference, as well as an interesting cover-to-cover read.
Audience: Although one of its main goals is to reach family practitioners and families, because both play such an integral role in treatment, this book can be read by anyone because it avoids psychobabble and insider jargon. The authors consulted an eating disorder clinic and are affiliated with the University of Sydney (Australia) obstetrics/gynecology department. Other credentials are not mentioned.
Features: This book examines the etiology of eating disorders from all disciplines including psychological, sociocultural and biological aspects and then does a good job of integrating all of these into an explanation of the various manifestations of the illness. The patient writings are especially helpful in gaining insight to the mindset of an eating disordered patient. A glossary of terms is helpful for the layperson and the book is organized in a way that allows someone to read on a specific topic without reading it cover to cover. I found no shortcomings.
Assessment: This book gives an excellent overview on eating disorders. It covers the details of biology and psychology without being ponderous but then goes on to attempt to explore the origins and thought disorders behind the behavior. Some charts are included within the book but ones pertaining to weight/height details are at the back so as not to intrude on the body of the work. I found it to be an interesting read and a good reference all in one.