Tags: Babies | Have | Eating | Disorders?

Babies Have Eating Disorders?

Monday, 07 May 2001 12:00 AM

Studies also show that getting children of mothers with eating disorders off bottle-feeding is more difficult than weaning children of normal mothers, said Dr. Stewart Agras, emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University in California.

"We are finding that these disorders may be more genes than society," said Dr. Walter Kaye, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

Agras studied children from infancy to age 8. He noticed infant daughters of eating-disordered mothers (women who either had eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, at the time of birth or had a history of the disorders in the past) were found to suckle differently from the infants of non-eating disorder mothers.

Those babies also were harder to wean from the bottle. While children from normal mothers were leaving the bottle behind after about 18 months, the children of the eating-disordered women didn't quit the bottle until around 27 months of age.

"That's a nine-month difference," said Agras. "That's an enormous difference."

In the studies, Agras said the data indicate that women who had histories of eating disorders influence their daughters more than their sons.

"These very early patterns of eating differences seem to persist through childhood," Agras said. "This is a very provocative finding."

In another discussion at a press briefing, Dr. Michael Devlin of New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University said researchers are trying to recruit patients in an attempt to determine if binge eating is a true psychiatric disorder.

"Binge eating disorder" now has a provisional labeling in psychiatry as a disorder. Devlin said, "Binge eating describes one way that people overeat."

Devlin said researchers now see binge eating as a condition that overlaps obesity and depression. The study will try to see if treatment of binge eating can correct the behavior.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Studies also show that getting children of mothers with eating disorders off bottle-feeding is more difficult than weaning children of normal mothers, said Dr. Stewart Agras, emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Stanford University in California. We...
Babies,Have,Eating,Disorders?
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2001-00-07
Monday, 07 May 2001 12:00 AM
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