Magazine article Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources

Eating Disorders Sourcebook

Magazine article Feminist Collections: A Quarterly of Women's Studies Resources

Eating Disorders Sourcebook

Article excerpt

Sandra J. Judd, ed., EATING DISORDERS SOURCEBOOK, 3rd edition. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2011. (Health reference series.) 615p. $95.00, ISBN 978-0780811430.

It is estimated that more than five million Americans have an eating disorder. A majority of these individuals are women (90-95% of those with anorexia nervosa; 80% of those with bulimia nervosa). A woman with anorexia is twelve times more likely to die than a woman without the disorder.

These startling statistics appear in the early pages of the Eating Disorders Sourcebook, a consumer health resource intended for use by laypersons--specifically, patients, families, caregivers, and the general public. The volume is organized into seven primary parts, each of which provides readers with a grouping of chapters focusing on one of the Following topics: eating disorder descriptions, risk factors, causes, medical complications, diagnosis and treatment processes, preventative measures, and terminology/additional resources. Most of the chapters are brief, although not uniformly so. Subsections of chapters are reprinted from a variety of documents from other sources: individuals, government agencies, organizations, and publications. As a result, the final product frequently feels disjoint.

The book's stylistic inconsistencies are perhaps understandable given the nature of its construction. Variations in spelling and style are acknowledged in the preface, with the editor noting that her "primary goal is to present material from each source as accurately as is possible" (p. xviii). Still, the occasionally jarring tonal shifts are not specifically addressed. Certain sections contain cold, impersonal language. In an overview of potential complications associated with eating disorders in Part IV, for instance, it sometimes sounds as if the ailments discussed are wholly separate from the human beings who suffer their ill effects. …

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