Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Prevalence and Correlates of DSM-5–Defined Eating Disorders in a Nationally Representative Sample of U.S. Adults.

Background: Few population-based data on the prevalence of eating disorders exist, and such data are especially needed because of changes to diagnoses in the DSM-5. This study aimed to provide lifetime and 12-month prevalence estimates of DSM-5–defined anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and binge-eating disorder (BED) from the 2012–2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Methods: A national sample of 36,306 U.S. adults completed structured diagnostic interviews (Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-5). 

Results: Prevalence estimates of lifetime AN, BN, and BED were 0.80% (SE 0.07%), 0.28% (SE 0.03%), and 0.85% (SE 0.05%), respectively. Twelve-month estimates for AN, BN, and BED were 0.05% (SE 0.02%), 0.14% (SE 0.02%), and 0.44% (SE 0.04%). The odds of lifetime and 12-month diagnoses of all three eating disorders were significantly greater for women than for men after adjusting for age, race and/or ethnicity, education, and income. Adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of lifetime AN diagnosis were significantly lower for non-Hispanic black and Hispanic respondents than for white respondents. AORs of lifetime and 12-month BN diagnoses did not differ significantly by race and/or ethnicity. The AOR of lifetime, but not 12-month, BED diagnosis was significantly lower for non-Hispanic black respondents relative to that of non-Hispanic white respondents; AORs of BED for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white respondents did not differ significantly. AN, BN, and BED were characterized by significant differences in age of onset, persistence and duration of episodes, and rates of current obesity and psychosocial impairment. Conclusions: These findings for DSM-5–defined eating disorders, based on the largest national sample of U.S. adults studied to date, indicate some important similarities to and differences from earlier, smaller nationally representative studies. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.03.014

Prevalence and Correlates of Disordered Eating Behaviors Among Young Adults with Overweight or Obesity.

Clinical and community samples indicate that eating disorders (EDs) and disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) may co-occur among adolescents and young adults at a weight status classified as overweight or obese. Objective: To determine the prevalence of EDs and DEBs among young adults at a weight status classified as overweight or obese using a nationally representative sample and to characterize differences in prevalence by sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Design: Cross-sectional nationally representative data collected from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Participants: Young adults ages 18–24 years old. Main Measures: ED diagnosis and DEBs (self-reported binge eating or unhealthy weight control behaviors including vomiting, fasting/skipping meals, or laxative/diuretic use to lose weight). Covariates: age, sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, weight status, and education. Key Results: Of the 14,322 young adults in the sample, 48.6% were at a weight status classified as overweight or obese. Compared to young adults at a weight status classified as underweight or normal weight, those at a weight status classified as overweight or obese reported a higher rate of DEBs (29.3 vs 15.8% in females, 15.4 vs 7.5% in males). Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that odds of engaging in DEBs were 2.32 (95% confidence interval 2.05–2.61) times higher for females compared to males; 1.66 (1.23–2.24) times higher for Asian/Pacific Islander compared to White; 1.62 (1.16–2.26) times higher for homosexual or bisexual compared to heterosexual; 1.26 (1.09–1.44) times higher for high school or less versus more than high school education; and 2.45 (2.16–2.79) times higher for obesity compared to normal weight, adjusting for all covariates. Conclusions: The high prevalence of DEBs particularly in young adults at a weight status classified as overweight or obese underscores the need for screening, referrals, and tailored interventions for DEBs in this population. Journal of General Internal Medicine June 11, 2018
New Research shows that…

Anorexia
• 0.80% of adults meet diagnostic criteria for anorexia at some point in their lives.
• 0.05% of adults experience anorexia in a given 12-month period.
• Hispanic adults and non-Hispanic black adults are much less likely than white adults to be diagnosed with anorexia during their lifetimes.

Bulimia
• 0.28% of adults meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia at some point in their lives.
• 0.14% of adults experience bulimia in a given 12-month period.
• The lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates for bulimia do not significantly differ by ethnicity or race.

Binge Eating (BED)
• 0.85% of adults meet diagnostic criteria for binge eating at some point in their lives.
• 0.44% of adults experience binge eating in a given 12-month period.
• The lifetime prevalence rates for BED are lower for black adults than for white or Hispanic adults.

Prevalence of eating disorders taken from largest sample in the United States.

A new study in Biological Psychiatry provides updated estimates of the lifetime and 12-month prevalence of eating disorders. Biological Psychiatry has published a new study revising the outdated estimates of the prevalence of eating disorders in the United States (US). The new estimates were based on a nationally-representative sample of 36,309 adults--the largest national sample of US adults ever studied. The findings estimate that 0.80 percent of US adults will be affected by anorexia nervosa in their lifetime; 0.28 percent will be affected by bulimia nervosa; and 0.85 percent will be affected by binge eating disorder. Importantly, the study provides the first prevalence estimates using the current definitions of eating disorders. Although the diagnostic criteria for several common eating disorders were changed with the 2013 publication of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5", the rates of eating disorders hadn't been studied since 2007. "Our study confirms that eating disorders are common, are found in both men and women and across ethnic/racial groups, occur throughout the lifespan, and are associated with impairments in psychosocial functioning," said first author Tomoko Udo, PhD, of University at Albany, New York. May 30, 2018 Read the full study here: https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(18)31440-9/fulltext

Seven reasons not to compliment someone on weight loss — and what to say instead

By Carrie Dennett of the Washington Post (05/24/18). 

It's a compliment that rolls easily off the tongue: "You look great. ... You've lost weight!" While some people welcome such observations, there are a number of reasons it's better to take a different approach when you're tempted to praise someone's weight loss. 1. They may be ill or experiencing a crisis. Because thinness is valued in our society, when someone loses weight, the assumption is that it's intentional and healthful — but that's not always the case. Recent research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that unintended weight loss is an early sign of several forms of cancer, including prostate, ovarian, lung, pancreatic and colorectal. Also, while many people respond to intense stress and anxiety by eating, others have the opposite reaction, because part of the body's normal "fight, flight or freeze" response is to shut down digestion. That noticeably thinner co-worker could be coping with a personal crisis — a painful divorce, a serious illness in the family — and losing weight unintentionally. If you are not privy to that information and offer what seems like an innocent compliment, you may add to their pain. 2. They may have an eating disorder. In her 2015 book "Body of Truth," author Harriet Brown writes about how women would approach her then-14-year-old, praise her thin body and ask for diet tips. That's really not appropriate in any circumstance, but it was especially unfortunate in this case: The teenager was grappling with anorexia nervosa, which severely threatened her health. For someone who is working on recovering from anorexia or bulimia nervosa — another life-threatening eating disorder characterized by binging and compensatory behaviours like self-induced vomiting — weight loss compliments can be problematic in several ways. Although anorexia, like other eating disorders, is complex and multifaceted, one factor that can encourage the progression of the disease is positive reinforcement. By praising someone for losing weight when — unknown to you — they have anorexia, you are rewarding them for a behaviour that could eventually kill them. And you can't tell who has an eating disorder by looking at them. People of all body sizes can have anorexia — the term "atypical anorexia" refers to people who engage in severe food restriction but are not low-weight. 3. They may have a history of trauma. Read more at the following link including what you should say… https://www.thespec.com/living-story/8628265-seven-reasons-not-to-compliment-someone-on-weight-loss-and-what-to-say-instead/

The history of the term Anorexia Nervosa.

The earliest medical descriptions of anorexic illnesses are generally credited to English physician Richard Morton, in 1689. However it was not until 1868, Sir William Gull, one of Queen Victoria’s personal physicians, published a seminal paper which established the term anorexia nervosa and provided a number of detailed case descriptions and treatments. The 1868 paper was titled Anorexia nervosa (apepsia hysterica, anorexia hysterica) and the reference is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9385628. The term anorexia is of Greek origin: an- (ἀν-, prefix denoting negation or without) and orexis (ὄρεξις, "appetite"), thus translating to "nervous absence of appetite". Read more here: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/82033.

Group of 51 Bipartisan Senators and Members of Congress Urge HHS for Full-Scale Implementation of Education and Training on Eating Disorders Provisions from the 21st Century Cures Act

Group of 51 Bipartisan Senators and Members of Congress Urge HHS for Full-Scale Implementation of Education and Training on Eating Disorders Provisions from the 21st Century Cures Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2, 2018) - Recently a bipartisan group of fifty-one Senators and Members of Congress, led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN], Shelley Moore Capito [R-WV], Tammy Baldwin [D-WI] and Rep. Ted Deutch [D-FL] and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL], sent a House and Senate letter to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Azar, urging the full-scale implementation of Section 13006 "Education and Training on Eating Disorders" for health care professionals authorized by the Anna Westin Act through 21st Century Cures (P.L. 114-255). This letter was sent after hundreds of advocates stormed and called Washington, D.C. on April 23rd, urging their Members of Congress' assistance in implementing these life-saving provisions. View the Senate champions' joint press release here and the House of Representatives' joint press release here.
"Passage of the 21st Century Cures Act was a major bipartisan accomplishment, and now we are asking the Department to utilize all necessary resources to implement these health programs," said Congressman Deutch"We need to train our health professionals to learn how to detect, prevent, and treat eating disorders among their patients. With 30 million Americans affected by these illnesses over their lifetime, this demands the full attention and appropriate resources of our federal health agency."
Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, which included key provisions from the bipartisan, bicameral Anna Westin Act of 2015 (S. 1865 / H.R. 2515), including Section 13006 for the early identification and intervention of eating disorders trainings for health professionals. Unfortunately, since the passage, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has taken little to no action to implement these provisions.

"Eating disorders are a leading cause of further illness and sometimes death in our nation. However, it is unfortunate that programs to train health professionals to identify and treat these disorders have not been forthcoming from the Department of Health and Human Services," Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said. "Along with my friend and colleague, Ted, I urge Secretary Azar to implement programs that will help those with eating disorders get the help they need."
Senate signatories of this letter include the following Senators: Amy Klobuchar [D-MN], Shelley Moore Capito [R-WV], Tammy Baldwin [D-WI], Sherrod Brown [D-OH], Tammy Duckworth [D-IL]. Richard Blumenthal [D-CT], Debbie Stabenow [D-MI], Elizabeth Warren [D-MA], Edward Markey [D-MA], Mark Warner [D-VA], Chris Murphy [D-CT], Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] and Corey Booker [D-NY].

House of Representatives signatories of this letter include the following Members of Congress: Rep. Ted Deutch [D-FL], Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL], David Price [D-NC], Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC], Peter King [R-NY], Zoe Lofgren [D-CA], John Larson [D-CT], Grace Napolitano [D-CA], Betty McCollum [D-MN], Federica Wilson [D-FL], C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger [D-MD], G.K. Butterfield [D-NC], Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D-FL], Doris Matsui [D-CA], Kathy Castor [D-FL], Steve Cohen [D-TN], Tim Walz [D-MN], Erik Paulsen [R-MN], Chellie Pingree [D-ME], Paul Tonko [D-NY], Lou Barletta [R-PA], Donald Payne, Jr. [D-NJ], Rodney Davis [R-IL], Lois Frankel [D-FL], Mark Pocan [D-WI], Keith Rothfus [R-PA], Kyrsten Sinema [D-AZ], Eric Swalwell [D-CA], Debbie Dingell [D-MI], John Katko [R-NY], Seth Moulton [D-MA], Val Demings [D-FL], Brian Fitzpatrick [R-PA], Brian Mast [R-FL], Jamie Raskin [D-MD], Lloyd Smucker [R-PA], Gus Bilirakis [R-FL], and Don Young [R-AK].
Eating disorders affect over 30 million Americans during their lifetime and have the highest mortality rate out of any psychiatric illness. Given the high prevalence and severity of these disorders, specialized training in early identification and treatment of eating disorders is needed.

The Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC) is a Washington, D.C.-based, federal advocacy organization comprised of treatment providers, advocacy organizations, academics, parents of children with eating disorders and people experiencing eating disorders nationwide. Additional resources can also be found at www.eatingdisorderscoalition.org.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Broad View: Disordered Eating on the Autism Spectrum

Vol. 29 / No. 3  

By Janice Goldschmidt, MS, RD, LDNCommunity Support Services, Inc.University of Maryland College Park, Washington, DC,
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobiological condition defined by limitations in communication and social interaction.  However, the secondary or ancillary aspects of the condition typically receive the most interest in research and practice, including atypical sensory processing and stimulus over-selectivity. 
Autism studies have maintained a strong pediatric focus despite the fact that most people on the spectrum are adults.  Consequently, a consensus is now emerging that for too long the adult cohort has been neglected, preventing a complete understanding of the health-related patterns (including eating disorders) during the adult years.1   
New Studies, Old Definitions
Eating pathologies for children on the autism spectrum have been relatively well studied, with a highly cited figure of 90% prevalence for this cohort.2,3  A new study among adults with autism has reported a range of EDs that span 6% to 17% of this population.4  However, our understanding is greatly affected by the way diagnostic criteria are established under the DSM-5 Here, language states that if an eating disorder is subsidiary to a mental condition — such as autism — then a secondary diagnosis is not warranted, except in certain circumstances (e.g., the presence of pica) where outcomes are “sufficiently severe.”5  The consequences of this are profound, as it prevents autism researchers from determining the true rates of prevalence.  This, in turn, inhibits discussion on how EDs should be conceptualized, assessed, diagnosed, or treated for this and other cohorts with disabilities.6 Consequently, autism studies remain in the early stages of making sense of these behaviors.  
This overview looks at the manifestation of these disordered eating patterns from a broad view, and argues that four expansive types of disordered eating can be defined.  Each is discussed in terms of manifestations, clinical significance, and current treatment options.  
Four Categories of Disordered Eating on the Autism Spectrum
Behavioral rigidity. Behavioral rigidity is a characteristic of many psychopathologies, including autism.  In the difficulty in transitioning between activities, environments, or even internal aspects of the same task, behavior rigidity is often reflective of deficits in self-regulation.  The first category of disordered eating references this type of behavior in the context of food and consumption. Behaviors on the autism spectrum falling into this category include food cravings,7 food refusals,8and, particularly, a limited diet..9,10   In this last group, both a narrow focus on specific foods as well as overreliance on specific food classes (e.g., refined carbohydrates) can predominate. 
Because these varied behaviors are not driven by concerns about either body shape or weight, they are positioned as analogous to Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) rather than eating disorders.  Restricted eating on the spectrum has been most thoroughly studied in children, and has been noted as one of the predominant eating-related patterns during this period of the life cycle.11 
Treatment for food rigidity relies primarily on behavioral techniques, especially “escape extinction,” where food is continually presented until acceptance occurs.12  However, the results of research studies have shown that increasing overall food intake has been more successful in interventions than as a means of increasing actual dietary variety.13
Sensory abnormalities. The second category of disordered eating and autism includes sensory abnormalities that affect hearing, vision, touch, and smell.  For all of these systems, atypical sensory functioning is likely to contribute significantly to eating pathologies, though there still is only limited research.14 As with most autism-related studies, children have been the primary focus where oral preferences and motor difficulties have been noted,15 along with more generalized sensory abnormalities.16,17  One small study assessed higher-functioning adults for the ability to discriminate among taste samples. Although the sample population was found to be less accurate in identifying bitter, sweet, and sour tastes than were healthy controls, they were comparable to a control group in the identification of salty foods.18  A review of olfaction for individuals with ASD found “possible involvement” of impairment of sensory systems, suggesting more study is merited.19 Early tactile sensitivities have also been proposed as a contributor to specific food preferences. 8
From a qualitative perspective, this topic can be explored in more depth by reading the autobiographies and memoirs of high-functioning individuals with autism.  For example, Stephen Shore, now a professor and autism advocate, remembered growing up in the following way:
“Brown or black food wouldn’t be eaten, as I insisted that they were poisonous.  Canned asparagus was intolerable due to its slimy texture, and I didn’t eat tomatoes for a year after a cherry tomato had burst in my mouth while I was eating it.  The sensory stimulation of having that small piece of fruit explode in my mouth was too much to bear and I was not going to take any chances of that happening again.
Carrots in a green salad and celery in tuna fish salad are still intolerable to me because the contrast in texture between carrots or celery and salad or tuna fish is too great.  However, I enjoy eating celery and baby carrots by themselves.  Often as a child, and less now, I would eat things serially, finishing one item on the plate before going on to the next.”20
This ability to articulate interior rules has contributed to a better understanding of how food (including the size of the bolus, texture, flavor, color, and shape) can affect eating patterns for this population. 21,22  
Behaviors with significant health risks. The third category of disordered eating on the autism spectrum incorporates a disparate group of behaviors that – because of the significant health-related risks — require substantial resources and support staff to manage.  This group includes pica, rumination, and disruptive mealtime behaviors.23,24  Despite the severity, there are no clinical guidelines for assessment or treatment.
Pica, or eating nonnutritive substances, is manifested in the general public as a discriminant behavior typically involving a single class of substance, for example, pregnant women eating clay.  On the autism spectrum, however, this behavior is usually manifested in non-discriminant consumption patterns that likely favor opportunity.  
Cigarette pica is reported as the most commonly ingested item for this population, 25-27 despite the fact that rates of nicotine, caffeine, and drug abuse are currently very low.28 Items reported to have been ingested by individuals with ASD or ID in published research are amazingly wide-ranging, and include: dirt,26,27,29 chalk,30 cigarettes,31,32  plastics,27,33-36 foam rubber,37 string,38,39 paper, 26,31,37,40,41 paper clips,42 rubber bands,35,43 clothes 26,34,41 or cloth,38,44 grass,45 metal,33,44buttons,26,46 hair,26,34,41 feces,26,40,45,47 vomit,39 rocks,34,45,47,48 glass,45 broken light bulbs,45insects, 45 paint chips,27,40 pencils, 40 trash,46 toiletries,46 cleaning products,27 sewing needles,46tar,48 vinyl,49 or rubber gloves,47 carpet,41,50 foam padding,41 toilet bowl fresheners,29 spoiled food,39 mothballs,29 plastic tubing,34,35 tea bags,46 keys,34,47 crayons,34 twigs,34,47 alkaline batteries,35,47 soap,39,47 sealed snack bags,35 wood chips,48 jewelry,35 Styrofoam,27 coffee grounds,39  aftershave lotion,46 toilet water,39 holiday decorations,51 and dead animals.34  
The highest rates of pica behavior on the autism spectrum, from 26% to 65%, have been documented in institutionalized settings.52   Rates are significantly reduced in community-based residences, where there is a greater emphasis on social stimulation; here, published rates span 0.2% to 4%.52  However, so many differing methodologies and definitions of pica have been utilized that analysis across this body of research is difficult.53,54 
Treatment for patients on the autism spectrum typically addresses pica as either a challenging behavior (CB) or as a psychopathology.  CBs are considered culturally abnormal actions that can either put the individual (or those around him or her) at risk, or that are so disruptive as to limit access to the community.55  In their ability to affect quality of life, limit independence, and create social isolation, CBs are among the most studied and one of the most socially unacceptable aspects of ASD.56  Learning-based approaches are common for treatment of CB, and include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), behavior therapy, social skills training, reinforcement models and token economies.  
Pica as a psychopathology typically relies on psychological explanations of autism.57,58 Though conditions such as anxiety, depression, or even psychosis are difficult to differentially diagnose in a population that is 40% nonverbal, psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent, with rates for comorbidities ranging from 36% to 81%.57,59,60  Pharmacologic approaches for the treatment of pica have included the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), often fluoxetine, based on its anti-anxiety and anti-obsessive properties.30,46,50,61,62  Both antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotic have also been utilized in treatment, with varied effectiveness.63
While medications are likely the most common treatment modality for all forms of CBs – particularly in adults — they have also been linked to the etiology of pica. Research as to underlying causes of pica have found that psychotropics and anticonvulsants are significantly associated for individuals with ID who display of pica.64 Neuroleptic medication is also believed to have a link with pica, possibly due to diminished postsynaptic dopamine receptor changes, which may worsen the behavior.65
Whatever the perspective, the predominant treatment for pica behavior outside of research contexts is simply “pica-proofing” the patient’s environment.  In treatment settings, this usually involves the use of additional staff to protect an individual by sweeping a room for possible pica items and by limiting the opportunities to engage in pica behavior within the larger community.  
Rumination. Rumination is also documented on the spectrum, though its prevalence is not completely understood due to the difficulty in clinically identifying this condition in nonverbal populations. Rates of rumination for individuals with autism and ID are estimated in the range of 6% to 10%.66  Along with the immediate risk of aspiration, rumination contributes significantly to increased mortality rates,67 as well as long-term concerns about dehydration, malnutrition, and gastrointestinal bleeding.68-70  Because of the silent nature of this condition and the significant outcomes, identification of rumination warrants a full clinical workup. 66
Treatment approaches for rumination on the spectrum have focused on supplemental feedings to break the regurgitation cycle, use of preferred stimuli, and emphasis on overall increased or alternative stimulation.71
Rapid eating behaviors. The last group of disordered eating noted on the autism spectrum involves a range of rapid eating behaviors72-75 that approximate binge eating disorder (BED). Binge eating has been documented in institutionalized adults with ID at rates ranging from 3%- to 42%; in adults in community-based residences, reduced rates, ranging from 1% to 19%, have been noted.53  There is relatively strong anecdotal evidence (and some research) to demonstrate that rapid consumption patterns are highly prevalent on the autism spectrum, 72,73,76,77 and more generally established among individuals with developmental and intellectual disability disorder (IDD).74
Traditionally the predominant risks of rapid eating were believed to be related to aspiration, choking, and weight gain through an override of satiation markers. For those with autism, it is also likely to contribute to both indigestion and ongoing social isolation. New research on this topic has documented a relationship between a high body fat ratio and rapid eating and hypothesized a relationship due to insulin resistance.78-80
In designing treatment modalities for all populations that address rapid consumption, the challenge lies in overcoming the fact that the food of choice is itself reinforcing. Thus, the faster an individual eats, the faster they consume, thereby shaping rapid consumption. Typical strategies for treatment on the spectrum often involve placing support staff so as to actively coach a reduction in the speed of bites.81 Newer, more innovative strategies utilizing technology have incorporated the use of a vibrating pager to cue consumption at fixed intervals. This approach has been found to decrease the rate of eating in teenagers on the spectrum72  and in several case studies of adolescents76,77 but is not currently in widespread use. 
Rapid eating as manifested in binge eating disorder (BED) was first included in the DSM-5, and is now the most common eating disorder in the United States. From the perspective of a formal diagnosis, BED is considered to be idiopathic, and is defined by an absence of compensatory behaviors such as co-occurring AN or BN. 
The formal BED diagnostic criteria demonstrate the difficulties of applying DSM-5 language to individuals with autism, even when the behavior is highly prevalent. Due to communication deficits and alexithymia, applicability of stipulated criteria for BED would necessitate translating subjective symptoms to objective signs. By adjusting these criteria (see Table 1) it is possible to create applicable standards that capture behaviors manifested in those with autism. The only exception to this is the identification of “disgust, depression or guilt,” which would be impossible for many individuals on the spectrum to identify. Likewise, embarrassment for many individuals would be impossible to label, but stealing food is a commonly noted behavior and can be another means to come at this criteria. 82

Table 1: Transforming DSM Language into Applicable Criteria for Autism
DSM-5Subjective Criteria
Eating more rapidly than is normal
Eating until uncomfortably full
Eating when not hungry or when full
Feelings of disgust, depression or guilt post-consumption
Eating alone due to embarrassment
Altered Objective Criteria to Address Autism
Eating rapidly
Eating whenever food is available
Eating too much
Cannot be adjusted
Stealing food


Though Cognitive Behavior Therapy has found widespread acceptance for treatment of BED within the general public, it has only been used with the most highly functioning cohort on the autism spectrum. Even here, subjects were found to have difficulty in grasping cognitive restructuring, and organizing to various sections. Doubts and concerns were also raised regarding maintenance of behavior changes and generalizing abilities.83 
A Challenge for ED Professionals
This broad view of disordered eating on the autism spectrum makes clear that these behaviors are widely manifested and require significant resources in terms of staff time and attention. Despite this, clinical understanding in terms of assessment and treatment remains limited.  Disordered eating on the autism spectrum is clearly a new horizon for ED professionals, who have the skills and knowledge to make a tremendous contribution to this at-risk population.
References 
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