The nutritional information on the menus may be a potential trigger for an eating disorder

Food and its nutritional information can play a pivotal role in a person’s eating disorder experience. Nutritional information posted in restaurants and other dining venues can be a potential trigger for those with eating disorders. (Ashley Larkin)

study done by National Library of Medicine It has been shown that the calories in menus may cause those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa to demand much less food than usual and those with bulimia nervosa to order much more.

Although the study showed an association with calorie labels and eating disorders, “no studies have examined the causal relationship between exposure to calorie labels and eating or ordering behaviors and behaviors among individuals with an eating disorder,” the study said.

According to some individuals with eating disorders, calories in menus affect them.

Sophie Lasswell, track and field athlete and Brigham Young University graduate, suffered from anorexia nervosa.

“The earlier in recovery, the nutritional information is starting to come in,” Laswell said. “Especially when you are shocked by what you see. When you are in trouble with an eating disorder, you look at calories and carbs and fat and everything that is in anything.”

Alex Olson, a 19-year-old of St. George, Utah, said it was hard to see the calories on the menus.

I definitely believe that looking at calories and nutritional information can lead to eating disorders. For me, when I was struggling, it was hard to see the calories and I always chose the item with the lowest number,” Olson said.

search from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention They show that just over 40% of Americans are overweight. The moving To put the calories on the menus came from the Food and Drug Administration’s nutrition Initiatives In the last years.

Despite their experience with eating disorders, Olson and Laswell agreed on the importance of having nutritional information.

“I think it’s important and should be featured on restaurant menus. It’s very important that we see the nutrients we’re putting into our bodies, especially in the areas where we struggle with obesity in America,” Olson said.

Lasswell said, “I’m an athlete. I competed in college and so it worked for me whenever I was, not only in recovering from an eating disorder, but also trying to refuel as an athlete. So I think it’s helpful and not having that information would be really hard trying Find out what I’m supposed to do.”

Handout provided by the National Eating Disorders Association for Body Acceptance Week. (Courtesy of the National Eating Disorders Association)

Jackie Nunez, Assistant Director Women’s Services and Resources In BYU is engaged in body projectHaving a healthy body image starts at home, he said.

“I think having a healthy body image starts at home with the way we talk about our bodies and where we focus our energy. Focus on embracing and developing all the great non-look aspects of yourself and others,” Nunez said.

It’s important to stop measuring food intake when it comes to eating disorders, Laswell said. “Stop measuring,” she said. “Stop thinking about how many calories, how many carbs, how many things are in all of that, and once you force yourself to stop measuring things, you force yourself to give up some of those things.”

Those with eating disorders can connect with BYU Counseling and psychological services.

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