The movie hasn’t been released — yet the trailer itself has created much controversy in the eating disorder community and press. In the first 9 seconds we see disordered eating behavior. By the end of the 2 minute & 23 second promo we have now seen at least 5 very serious eating disorder rituals, including calorie counting, excessive exercise and fluid intake, difficulty eating, body checking, as well as scenes from the hospital, fainting and the skeletal spine of an emaciated body. These can negatively impact someone struggling with recovery or potentially trigger someone over the edge into an eating disorder.
Here are some of my concerns:
1) Lily Collins plays the main character and she has been very open about her own battle with anorexia. She lost weight to play the character in an authentic manner, yet we know that weight loss can trigger relapse.
This feels extremely irresponsible, although the producers claim that she lost her weight “healthfully?”
2) It is important for all of us as parents, physicians, therapists, teachers, family and friends to learn all we can about eating disorders. To the Bone highlights a thin, white, young female with the very serious and life-threatening disease called anorexia.
”Eating disorders affect people from all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities and sexualities. Unfortunately that diversity is rarely reflected in the way eating disorders are discussed and treated.”
It misses an opportunity to discuss: binge eating disorder, bulimia, atypical anorexia (anorexia in a larger bodied person), males,
LGBQT, people of color, hispanic, pregnant women, older adults AND avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
The movie reinforces the stereotype that there is only one “look” to an Eating Disorder.
for the National Eating Disorders Association Hotline:
For more information about nutrition and eating disorder treatment:
Erica Leon is a Registered Dietitian and practices from a Health at Every Size (HAES®) lens. She is certified as an eating disorder specialist and is passionate about helping women at midlife, menopause and beyond to make peace with food and body image.
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