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Anorexia, Bulimia Strike the Observant

Physical ideals, dietary laws contribute to trend

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According to numerous studies, eating disorders are an increasing problem among Orthodox Jewish women. The main problem seems to be that discussing them is taboo. However—believe it or not—religious days of fasting actually aren’t helping matters, either. Perhaps most of all, slim brides are highly prized, while at the same time the suggestion of an eating disorder connotes mental illness, which in turn is strongly stigmatized. Even the laws of kashrut are said to play a role: “You’re already struggling with an eating disorder and now you have all these foods that you can’t eat, it can be very difficult,” argues Philadelphia-based dietitian Jodi Krumholz.

Israel has among the world’s highest rates of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

In 2008, in Tablet Magazine predecessor Nextbook.org, Abby Ellin reported that eating disorders are the top destructive behavior among Jewish girls.

Eating Disorders a Problem Among Haredim [Ynet]
Related: Pounds of Flesh [Nextbook.org]

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Calling Jack Shafer!

The lightly-sourced Ynet article, in para 5, says “Several studies indicate a rise in the problem, and those who treat eating disorders say they are seeing more Jewish patients.” Further down we learn though that “[n]o organization tracks the numbers of eating disorders among Jewish women.”

Searches for “eating disorders Jewish trend” and the like in Pubmed and Google Scholar don’t turn up much (or, actually, any) literature on the *trend* in eating disorders among Orthodox Jewish women.

Problem – probably. “Increasing”: who knows?

I’ve said that least 2049652 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

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Anorexia, Bulimia Strike the Observant

Physical ideals, dietary laws contribute to trend

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