Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia have become well-known in the past decade or so, and there is now plenty of help out there for those who suffer from these problems. However, women (or men) who experience eating disorders that are not as serious as these well-publicized problems may have a more difficult time getting help or support. Thatís why Cynthia Bulik and Nadine Taylorís Runaway Eating: the 8-Point Plan to Conquer Adult Food and Weight Obsessions is an important addition to the literature available on eating disorders.
Although Runaway Eating focuses mostly on middle-aged women who experience eating problems, it also goes into the problems that women of all ages may experience. These problems include the Restricting Runaway Eater (a milder version of anorexia), the Bingeing Runaway Eater (someone who eats a large amount of food without compensating afterward) and the Bingeing/Compensating Runaway Eater (similar to bulimia, these are people who eat a large amount of food then compensate by vomiting, over-exercising or using laxatives). The authors do a good job of explaining how these disorders differ from their more serious counterparts, some of the reasons why women may experience them and the risk factors involved.
The second part of the book concentrates on the authorsí eight-point plan to help conquer these weight obsessions. The plan is well-rounded and includes everything from an eating plan (a non-diet) to focusing on the deeper roots of food obsession such as depression, perfectionism and life changes (especially menopause). They provide plenty of worksheets and different plans to help the Runaway Eater keep their eating and their thought processes on the right track.
Those who have experienced any form of the Runaway Eating described in this book will probably gain some insight and hopefully some help from reading it. It never talks down to the reader or makes them feel guilty for having food issues. In fact, itís quite uplifting and tries to help the reader realize that there are real reasons behind their eating problems and that they can get help. This is an important book and will add greatly to the existing writings on eating disorders.