Insight: Sept 5

Insight is back with a new episode this week as it hears from people whose healthy habits have strayed into the dangerous territory of disordered eating.

Host Jenny Brockie asks at what point did they tip over into being unhealthy?

Every day we are bombarded with different messages and strategies about how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Almost two thirds of Australians are overweight or obese*. But in the quest to constantly be healthier, disordered eating, according to some experts, is on the rise and in need of more attention.
What happens when the drive to be healthy becomes unhealthy?

Rachel Baffsky started out with a goal to complete the City to Surf fun run in Sydney. Seemingly positive changes in her diet and exercise regime quickly spiraled into something more serious.

Rachel’s health started to deteriorate and within six months she was hospitalised and diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

“I was ignoring people being concerned about me because I thought I was just being disciplined and structured, but I realise now how dysfunctional that was.”
Adrianne noticed her young son was walking more on their WA farm, and starting to go for long runs.

“He wanted to win at the school cross country so he would just run all over the farm. He’d be gone for hours, running.

He wasn’t at home on his Nintendo, so I thought, ‘that’s great’”.
Adrianne’s son was just 11 years old when he was diagnosed with anorexia and eventually told his mum he thought he was being healthy.

Dr Sloane Madden is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Westmead Children’s Hospital, specialising in managing eating and anxiety disorders.

He says the clinic would admit over a hundred children each year and the patients are getting younger.

“The average age of the children we see is about 13, the youngest children we see are as young as … eight, nine and 10.”

Tuesdays at 8.30pm on SBS.

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