14 Best Eating Disorder Videos of 2012
Eating disorders can be overwhelming and life-threatening—take a look at the best videos on the subject.
14 Best Eating Disorder Videos of 2012
Attitudes toward food and bodily appearance go beyond the simple selection of one food over another—they represent feelings of self-worth, an interpretation of society’s norms, and a distorted perception of the relationship between nourishment and wellbeing.
Watch these fascinating videos on everything from the well-known anorexia nervosa to the most obscure food compulsions. Not only do these handpicked clips display a keen understanding of the reality of eating disorders, they also help engender compassion in a way pamphlets cannot. Three cheers for the best eating disorder videos!
National Geographic’s Taboo: Beauty, Isabelle Caro
This tragic clip covers an expose on Isabelle Caro’s famous revelation of her own eating disorder and the dangerous eating habits encouraged by the fashion industry. She describes her own descent into anorexia, the embrace of her thin body by the modeling community, and her rebellion against these deadly norms in a public awareness campaign.
Sadly, Isabelle’s own story ended with her death at the age of only 28, shortly after this clip was filmed. Hear the real—and sometimes shocking—story straight from the mouth of this activist and victim.
Starving Secrets: Michelle & Lauren
In this first of five episodes, viewers get introduced to two women with different eating disorders. This portion of Tracey Gold’s exposé of the reality behind eating disorders is only one of dozens of stories revealed in her true-to-life show, Starving Secrets.
Take a look at this episode or any one of Tracey’s careful examinations of the truth behind disordered eating: the reality may shock you. Someone you know, love, and care about may be hiding a disorder and in need of help, and these shows are an engaging way to get educated and motivated to make a difference.
Ellen: Portia Explains the Fear from Anorexia
Helpful, candid, and as relevant as always, this clip from Ellen DeGeneres’ daytime television show offers a startling look into the mind of an anorexic woman. Portia, on the road to permanent recovery, shares her story with viewers of her terrible dreams and deepest fears during her illness.
Able to see the problems with her former lifestyle, Portia describes the aspects of her own thinking that made perfect sense to her at the time but—to a healthy eater—make no sense at all. Check out this honest and interesting talk.
My Strange Addiction: Rocks for Dinner
Although not an eating disorder commonly covered in discussions of body image and food-related health, pica and other rare food phobias or addictions are a manifestation of disordered eating often caused by a neurological imbalance. In this clip from My Strange Addiction, the subject of the show is addicted to eating rocks.
Attracted by the taste and feel of crushed rocks, she consumes over two pounds per day. Listen to the alarming explanations of her eating habits and find out how this rare disordered eating pattern compares to other diet-related psychological problems.
Hunger Games: Some Female Athletes Battle Eating Disorders
This fascinating news story by Houston’s KHOU talks about a rarely discussed topic: eating disorders among athletes. Although many people believe athletes are often in peak health both physically and mentally, they may suffer from eating disorders at an even higher rate than the regular population.
This clip discusses athletes (even Olympians!) and the difficulty loved ones have in identifying some eating disorders in athletes. Because of general wellness of appearances or visible muscle, many disordered eating patterns can continue for years without notice of coaches, families, and friends.
THIN: Eating Disorders
THIN, an HBO documentary on eating disorders, is an eye-opening look into the reality of treatment for eating disorders. It also digs into the lives and reasons behind a number of endearing individuals’ disorders during their stay at the Renfrew Center recovery clinic.
Follow the treatment plans for women at the clinic, and get a compassionate and personal look at what recovery efforts involve. For those who have never thought about the daily decisions faced by affected individuals, this documentary (in two parts) will be a revelatory experience.
“Man-orexia” on the Rise
This CBS story on Skinny America reveals a startling truth: men account for up to 1 in 4 of the anorexic and bulimic populations. This clip looks into the reasons behind male eating disorders and why the truth has taken so long to come to light.
In addition, listen as the experts discuss the differences in manifestations of eating disorders between men and women as well as the different approaches to treatment that may be necessary.
Katie Couric: Beating Your Eating Disorders at Any Age
In this informative clip on treating and beating eating disorders—no matter your age—looks at recovery from a much wider perspective than usual. In an interview with Dr. Bulik, Director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program, Katie Couric delves into the generational differences in support systems and recovery strategies for people of all ages with eating disorders.
Find out how you can expect your treatment plan to differ depending on your age, gender, and family situation, and take courage: Katie Couric and thousands of other individuals have also battled (and beaten) their eating disorders.
TODAY: Speaking Out about Male Eating Disorders
Guest Andrew Walen discusses his eating disorder and the rise in binge eating disorders among men on this excellent clip from the TODAY Show. Learn about his own personal story and his battle with binge eating, and find out how he maneuvered his own recovery.
Eating disorders are being increasingly recognized as a significant health concern for men, and this delay in recognition and acceptance keeps many men from understanding and seeking help (or receiving assistance from others) for their conditions. Enjoy this excellent news story.
The Truth about Eating Disorders: Anorexia
This excellent and brief documentary explores anorexia from multiple angles. Produced by Magdalene John, the piece interweaves interviews from health professionals with personal stories from women who experienced a struggle with anorexia.
This poignant and inspiring video looks at healing every aspect of a person with anorexia: relationships, the body, the mind, and even the spirit. Take a unique look at anorexia’s impact on the whole person in this complex and compassionate approach to understanding anorexia.
Female Bulimia: Liselle’s Story
A brief and personal look at bulimia offers the story of Liselle in this excellent and informative NHS clip. For anyone interested in understanding bulimia from a personal perspective, this video offers a quick look into one woman’s journey of pain and healing.
If you or a loved one suffers from bulimia, you can find out what you can expect for the treatment process and future health issues in this top-notch video. Hats off to NHS for their repeated success in creating relevant and engaging health clips!
True Life: I Have an Eating Disorder
This four-part eating disorder documentary follows several young people in their battles with various—often hidden—eating disorders. Find out how they hide their condition from their families, the successes and failures they have experienced with treatment plans, and the mental motives behind their compulsions.
No matter what you think about True Life with an eating disorder, this documentary will help you gain a better understanding of the emotions and experiences of those who live with these debilitating illnesses. Get a new perspective with this insightful film.
BBC: Super Slim Me
Dawn Porter, a British writer and television presenter, decided to attempt a radical and controversial project: to do anything to become a “Hollywood Zero.” This dangerous documentary of her own extreme dieting allowed Dawn to take an incisive and often merciless examination of the social norms and media-driven hype that distort peoples’ idea of beauty and health.
Interspersing commentary on the fashion and film industry with her reflections on weight loss and calorie restriction, Dawn Porter offers a fascinating and disturbing look into the dark truth behind society’s “beautiful” bodies.
Eating Disorders Documentary
This candid documentary talks about eating disorders without beating around the bush. Listen to open and brutally honest interviews with individuals who have “been there, done that” with eating disorder suffering and treatment—and recovered.
Best of all, you can let this documentary be your inspiration. Take the speakers’ advice and get involved—advocacy, awareness, and reduced stigma can be the keys to helping people get effective and lifesaving treatment.
14 Best Eating Disorder Videos of 2012 Closing
These top-notch videos have a real knack for showing the truth behind eating disorders. Take courage and seek help if you need it, or use these resources to get help for a loved one.
No one should suffer in silence with an eating disorder. Too many live with disordered eating habits for too long. Do your part to end the stigma and promote treatment by sharing these videos and joining in advocacy and awareness efforts yourself—you never know whose life you may save!