Episode nine

00:00:05 Fiona spence

Hello and welcome to our podcast series focusing on food well-being and mental health run by NHS Fife Nutrition and clinical dietetics, mental health and learning disability team. My name is Fiona Spence. I'm a registered nutritionist and today I'm joined by Karen Brierton. 

00:00:21 Fiona Spence 

In this episode, we're going to be talking about coping with Christmas if you have an eating disorder. Karen has been with us before in a previous podcast, but for those who haven't listened to the ARFID podcast, I'll let Karen introduce herself. 

00:00:34 Karen Brierton 

Hi Fiona, I'm Karen. I'm a dietitian, working in child and adolescent mental health. I work mostly with people with eating disorders, and I've also worked in the past with adults with eating disorders, so I have experience with both adults and young people. 

00:00:51 Fiona Spence 

So Karen, we are going to be discussing Christmas time and how to cope with Christmas if you or a friend or relative have an eating disorder. 

00:01:00 Fiona Spence 

But firstly, just to start us off, could you explain what an eating disorder is and if there are different types? 

00:01:07 Karen Brierton 

Yeah, so the most commonly recognised eating disorders are probably anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, which probably most people have heard of. 

00:01:17 Karen Brierton 

There are some other eastern disorders, such as avoidant restrictive food intake disorder or ARFID, and there's also what's called other specified feeding or eating disorder OSFED 

00:01:27 Karen Brierton 

And so basically eating disorders are really serious mental illnesses. 

00:01:33 Karen Brierton 

They are characterised by disturbances to peoples thoughts, behaviours and their attitudes to food and to eating. So for some people this can extend to a preoccupation with their body weight or with their shape and it might be that they're over exercising the really important bit about eating disorders to note is that they’re not a lifestyle choice 

00:01:53 Karen Brierton 

So they can take a lot of different forms. They can interfere with people's emotional, their physical and their social health. 

00:02:04 Fiona Spence 

I guess Christmas is going to be a really difficult time for people when there's just so much focus on food. 

00:02:12 Karen Brierton 

Yeah, absolutely. I think for Christmas time. Definitely. There seems to be so much focus on food and it can be really overwhelming for people with an eating disorder. 

00:02:20 Karen Brierton 

So if you think about all the times in the lead up to Christmas, not just Christmas Day so. 

00:02:27 Fiona Spence 

It's coming from every single angle, supermarkets, the media, friends and family, getherinegs. 

00:02:33 Karen Brierton 

And even though you know it, probably all starts the first of December. You've got your chocolate Advent calendar. So for us that's. 

00:02:40 Fiona Spence 

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