Earlier this week, Dr. Drew Pinsky made some misleading comments about “exercise bulimia” in a video featured on CNN iReport. The comments sparked concern because of the implications they could have for individuals who are struggling with excessive exercise and for those who may be at-risk. Dr. Harry Brandt, CED Director, was motivated to reach out to Dr. Drew in hopes of opening a public conversation that will shed light on eating disorders and spread accurate information regarding just how serious excessive exercise can be. The letter is published below:
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Dear Dr. Pinsky:
By way of introduction, I am the Director of the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, and former Director of the Unit on Eating Disorders of the National Institutes of Health. While generally, I think you have done an excellent job of increasing awareness of major mental illnesses to the population at large, I was concerned about your recent video comments regarding “exercise” bulimia. I felt compelled to blog about it on our website, and have received many responses from patients. Here is a link to the blog: In response to Dr. Drew ~ Exercise bulimia is not a mild mental health issue.
I would be most appreciative if you would consider following up on this issue publicly to raise awareness about the seriousness of bulimia nervosa, with particular attention to those individuals that use compulsive exercise as their means of purging.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further.
With best regards,
Harry A. Brandt, M.D.
Director, Center for Eating Disorders
Sheppard Pratt Health System
Head, Department of Psychiatry
St. Joseph Medical Center
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