NIH News Advisory
National Institute of Mental Health

Monday, September 14, 1998

Constance Burr
(301) 443-4536

NIH Hosts Seminar on Eating Disorders Research

When eating behaviors become obsessions, the physical and emotional consequences are severe, even deadly. Those who have eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, suffer from the often irreversible medical complications of starvation, binge eating, and purging.

Where does normal behavior end and pathology begin? What roles do neurobiology, culture, and family play in the development and course of eating disorders? Scientists will address these issues at a seminar, "Eating Disorders: Fads and Facts," presenting the latest research on the biological, genetic, and psychological factors associated with these disorders, and discuss treatments. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women's Health, the seminar will be held on September 16, from noon to 2 p.m., at Masur Auditorium in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (Building 10).

The speakers include Dr. Harold Goldstein, Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health, who will give an overview, and three NIMH grantees. Topics include: "The Neurobiology of Eating Disorders," by Sarah Leibowitz, Ph.D., Rockefeller University; "The Psychology of Risk Factors: A Developmental Approach to What Causes Eating Disorders," by Ruth Striegel-Moore, Ph.D., Wesleyan University; and "Overview of Effective Treatments for Eating Disorders," by W. Stewart Agras, M.D., Stanford University.

The seminar is open to the public, press, patients, and advocacy groups. After the presentations, the speakers will meet with reporters from 2 to 3 p.m. in room 4N222 of the Clinical Center.