Science of Eating Disorders Tumblr
Tetyana here. I run the Science of Eating Disorders blog. This is the SEDs-associated Tumblr. I post about ED research, (mental) health, psychiatry, and medicine. I reblog pretty art and photography, promote critical thinking, and rant about stuff. Previously answered questions are here. Content is not always on topic and may be triggering.

Ask Archive Random FAQ + READ METag List Theme
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder & Eating Disorders: Is There a Link?

My first post in months!

I’m 3/4 done a blog post about the ADHD paper that just came up in queue. New followers may be unaware that I actually, once upon a time, used to make legit blog entries on

❝ Results reveal that those with clinical ADHD are more likely to experience (a) clinical eating disorder, (b) clinical-level binging and/or purging behaviors, and (c) clinical-level restrictive behaviors. Those with subclinical ADHD (both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive) were more likely to experience subclinical binging and/or purging behaviors but not subclinical restrictive behaviors.

— The Comorbidity of ADHD and Eating Disorders in a Nationally Representative Sample

Is the relationship between binge eating episodes and personality attributable to genetic factors?

Aspects of disordered eating and personality traits, such as neuroticism, are correlated and individually heritable. We examined the phenotypic correlation between binge eating episodes and indices of personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and control/impulsivity)

This line of research is interesting, for sure, but ultimately the findings usually reveal that the various components that appear to be correlated with the behaviours (e.g., in this study, neuroticism in the case of binge eating) explain a teeny-tiny portion of the variability in the population with regard to the studied behaviour (e.g., binge eating in this case). 

Anonymous:  "looking at really graphic footage. I mean, one doesn’t need to do that in order to be informed, you know." This really struck me- definitely don't feel like you ever have to look at graphic footage or that anyone else has to- because it's not as helpful as you might think. "Regarding the Pain of Others" be Susan Sontag is a good read (but that's just adding another book to the list). Just the idea that we can ever comprehend just by looking at graphic pictures is kind of an odd idea.

I don’t feel like I have to or that anyone else has to. I don’t think it really add that much more to my ability to comprehend or imagine. Written descriptions are often sufficient and I am not sure I gain that much more, if anything, by looking at graphic images. I know that on an intellectual level, but yet I still sometimes do it. 

There are limits to how much anyone can understand just by looking at a photos. I think that’s pretty evident? I think it is true regardless of the content — positive, negative or neutral. The pictures and videos of San Jacinto Peak don’t do justice to what it is like to actually be there. 

I don’t know why I do it. I don’t do it often, though.  

And thanks so much for the book recommendation. I really need to get to reading Susan Sontag’s work!



Reading so much about various conflicts currently going on in the world is really, really, exhausting and frustrating and so, ugh, I don’t even know. I can’t even describe it. Most of the time, I just feel so, so, so fortunate. Like, holyshit fortunate. No words to describe that either. But I also feel so frustrated. So much senseless killing. So much of it. So much rape, too. 

So many of these topics are so, so charged that it almost feels like if you don’t support one side completely, you are automatically supporting the other side(s). 

I just feel bad that at this point I can’t keep up with what’s going on because of the “really, really, exhausting and frustrating” nature of doing so. I don’t read or watch the news; I don’t go looking for information after I see something about world events on my dash. It’s not that I don’t care (if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t feel bad about not being more involved); it’s just that I…can’t.

Yeah, it makes sense. Don’t feel bad. Really, you shouldn’t. When I was sicker with the ED, I really couldn’t. I just couldn’t. Even now, there are things that I care a lot about that I can’t keep up with — like I can’t really read Women Under Siege (although Lauren Wolfe is like my hero) because it is just too much for me. I can’t. I don’t think its people’s duty, per se, to stay informed or care or try to create change. I wish more people did, as a whole (because the amount of people in Ontario who don’t even know the name of our current premier is just ridiculous), but I don’t think people have to. 

But I want to be informed, personally. I don’t know, sometimes it is counterproductive, though, because I feel I seek out information that  affects me to such an extent that it actually triggers my ED because I feel so overwhelmed with all the feels, I feel I just need to purge something to get away. (Like looking at really graphic footage. I mean, one doesn’t need to do that in order to be informed, you know?)

I feel that if I am frustrated with  things, I should at least try to get involved somehow and speak up. But at the same time, I feel it is also futile. So many of the conflicts are about geopolitical control, fuelled in large part by foreign money. Ugh. I try to do little things, instead, I suppose. Really little things. You know, explaining heritability, running the SEDs blog, or telling my friend’s younger brothers or my younger male students not to use the word “rape” to describe how bad a test was. (And I do, even with people I tutor, if it comes up.) 

Ugh, so frustrating. 

Parental mental illness and eating disorders in offspring

The researchers collected data from 

158,679 children aged 12–24 years at the end of follow-up, resident in Stockholm County from 2001 to 2007, to investigate whether different parental mental illnesses are risk factors for eating disorders in their offspring. 

Main Results

  • Risk of eating disorders is increased if there is a parental diagnosis of:
  1. bipolar affective disorder ((95% CI 1.39, 3.72), p = 0.004),
  2. personality disorder (95% CI 1.01, 2.44), p = 0.043) or
  3. anxiety/depression (95% CI 1.32, 1.86), p < 0.0001).
  • There is no support for a relationship between parental substance misuse and eating disorders in children.

(I kept the confidence values and p-values in for people who are interested.)