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Eating Disorders and Super Bowl Weekend

Super bowl weekend is rapidly approaching and even if you are not a fan of the popular American sport, it is almost impossible to escape it as many tune in just for the commercials, the half time show or the parties. Approximately 110 million individuals in the United States tune in every year to watch one of the biggest games in sports and the average 30-second commercial costs $4.5 million dollars. Last year, Lady Gaga, was the headliner Super bowl performer and became a well-known celebrity victim to body shaming as her body and appearance became the central focal point of discussion after the halftime show aired.  In response to the body-shaming and critical comments about her appearance, Gaga took to her Instagram to respond, writing, “I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too. No matter who you are or what you do. I could give you a million reasons why you don’t need to cater to anyone or anything to succeed.”  Justin Timberlake will be the headliner at the 2018 Super bowl performance, he was recently at the Golden Globes where he supported the #MeToo movement but dressing in black and wearing a pink marked by the well-known hashtag that stands against sexual harassment. The half-time show is not the only thing that invites body image triggers. Commercials during this big event are sure to ramp up their  “sex factor” promoting thin women wearing barely anything to sell fast food, alcohol, clothing, cars, soft drinks and more. According to statistics 20 million women and 10 million men have an eating disorder in the United States and body shaming, low self-esteem, and the influence of the media all play a part in the development of an eating disorder.

Binge eating and Super bowl parties

It is extremely difficult to attend a Super bowl party and not be tempted by the seven-layer dip, chips and guacamole, cupcakes, cheese and sausage plates, hotdogs and burgers, cookies and all the other savory snacks and sweets that are offered in large proportions. This food plethora can be extremely challenging for an individual who is in eating disorder recovery and as a result, knowing your triggers and having a back up plan beforehand can potentially save you from relapsing.

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge-eating disorder is characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a 2-hour time period and is associated with an extreme lack of self-control and shame during this episode. It is possible for an individual diagnosed with binge-eating disorder to consume as much as 3,400 calories in little more than an hour, and as much as 20,000 calories in eight hours. Unlike bulimia and anorexia nervosa, there is no compensatory purging such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise or laxative abuse associated with binge-eating disorder. In order for binge-eating disorder to be diagnosed an individual must partake in binging episodes on average at least once a week for a three-month duration, the individual must have feelings of marked distress over these binging episodes and have a loss of control over the amount of food they eat. Additionally, at least three of the following factors must be present:

  • Rapid eating
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward
  • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much is being eaten
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry

Resisting the urge during the Super bowl

Hunger can be a powerful trigger. It is important to make sure that you are eating consistently throughout the day and following your meal plan can help you avoid a binge-purge episode.  If you feel that you vulnerable to an episode try to avoid the foods that you feel might be triggering. If it gets to be too much step away from the party and meet up with a support person to be able to process the situations. One party is not worth a relapse in your recovery.

 

Center For Discovery