05 24 2016
  8:45 am  
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While there is much concern about childhood obesity in this country, there are also many children who suffer from the opposite condition – food intake disorders.

In her new book "Give Food a Chance: A new view on childhood eating disorders" Portland-based doctor and Reed College graduate Dr. Julie O'Toole, MD, MPH, draws from over a decade of clinical experience treating eating disorders in children and young adults. O'Toole rejects former theories that claim such disorders are caused by poor parenting, issues of control, rejection of adulthood or society's oppression of women. Instead, the author says that anorexia, in particular, is a chronic, highly heritable brain disorder.

O'Toole works at the Kartini Clinic in Portland, which led her to her new approaches for these common and destructive disorders.

"I initially wrote 'Give Food a Chance' as a detailed guide for clinicians who care for children with eating disorders," O'Toole said in a typed release. "It seemed to me at the time that a technical book written for doctors and nurse practitioners would best serve to spread the message of a new treatment paradigm. On reading it, my son Morgan suggested that my audience was all wrong. Write for those who care the most, he told me, write for parents. Parents, he suggested, will care most passionately about the details, will be most motivated to spread the word. Speak to them and they will speak to the doctors. Speak to them and the children will best be served."

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