Eating Disorders

Understanding Causes, Controversies, and Treatment

by Justine J. Reel, Editor


Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness: as many as 20 percent of individuals who have a serious eating disorder and do not receive treatment may die.

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Cover image for Eating Disorders

May 2018


Pages 716
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Psychology/Abnormal
  Health & Wellness/Fitness, Nutrition, and Healthy Living

This encyclopedia offers a variety of resources for readers interested in learning more about eating disorders, including hundreds of reference entries, interviews, scholarly debates, and case studies.

While many people may reflexively imagine an anorexic or bulimia teenage girl upon being asked to think about eating disorders, eating disorders are a form of mental illness that can take many forms and affect individuals of all genders, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. In fact, an estimated eight million people in the United States struggle with an eating disorder, making eating disorders one of the most prevalent forms of mental illness in America.

This two-volume encyclopedia comprehensively examines eating disorders as the forms they can take; their causes and potential complications; and how they can best be treated and prevented. It also examines the influence had by cultural factors such as the fashion industry, television and movies, and social media. More than just a simple A-to-Z reference, Eating Disorders: Understanding Causes, Controversies, and Treatment also includes valuable features such as Q&A interviews with those affected by and working to combat eating disorders, case studies, scholarly essays that voice opinions in key debates, and a directory of resources for individuals seeking help.


  • Reflects recent changes in approaches to eating disorders brought about by the publication of the latest edition of the DSM
  • Explores key issues related to eating disorders and models critical thinking and argument construction in the Controversies and Debates section
  • Offers insights from a variety of perspectives expounded upon in interviews with scholars, eating disorder professionals, patients, and family members
  • Gives readers a "real world" look at the many ways eating disorders can manifest and progress in the Case Illustrations section
Author Info

Justine J. Reel, PhD, LPC, CMPC, is Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and exercise science professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington. She has authored The Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders and Body Image in addition to Working Out: The Psychology of Sport and Exercise, and Filling Up: The Psychology of Eating, both volumes in Greenwood's The Psychology of Everyday Life series. Dr. Reel has recovered from an eating disorder and treated individuals with eating disorders in inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient, and private practice settings.



"Editor Reel provides a wealth of material . . . A potentially helpful reference for undergraduate students seeking background information about eating disorders, their causes, treatments, and contemporary issues. Those who have eating disorders, as well as their family and friends, will also find it a solid resource."Library Journal

"This encyclopedia will be useful for consumer-health, public, and high-school libraries. It is a good starting point for students, patients, and those supporting them."Booklist

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