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
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.,
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.