Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community

Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community

Eating Disorders Seminar

Recently I was lucky enough to join a seminar in south Florida for educators and clinicians, “Feasting, Fasting & Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community”.

The organizer, well-known eating disorder specialists The Renfrew Center, told us the seminar was in direct response to the ‘noticeable spike throughout the country (USA) in Jewish patients’. Whilst the rates of Jewish patients with disordered eating are similar to the general community, the reasons behind them differ.

For treatment of Jewish patients to have any chance of success their therapists first must appreciate the strong traditions, religious rituals and level of religious observance in their patients.

Living in a multi-cultural society (especially in London) I could see how relevant this is to other religions and cultures. Both women and food play central roles in most strong ethnic communities.

Professor Marjorie Feinson, PhD

Eating disorder and body image specialist, Professor Marjorie Feinson, PhD.

Professor and researcher Dr. Marjorie Feinson, PhD, began the seminar with an overview of eating problems in the Jewish community, with the emphasis on binge eating among adult Jewish women. Of the adult Jewish respondents in Dr. Feinson’s study over 50% had problems with binge eating behaviours, although only one third of the women were obese.

Unsurprisingly, the binge eating was linked to high levels of self-criticism and serious body image concerns.There isn’t much …continue reading Eating Disorders in the Jewish Community