The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.







“Shattered Image”: An Interview with Brian Cuban

“Shattered Image”: An Interview with Brian Cuban
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

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Weight Stigma Awareness week just passed and Laura joined her iaedp NY team at NEDA’s walk for eating disorder awareness this past Sunday. To continue raising awareness, here at EALM we are sharing a very honest and intimate interview with Brian Cuban, lawyer, author of Shattered Image, and brave individual who is sharing his own story of body dysmorphia.

1) How old were you when you realized that you suffered from BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)? And could you describe what BDD is, from a patient’s perspective?

I was in my 40’s before I knew [BDD] had a name. While the disorder has been around for 100 years, BDD has really only been studied “mainstream” in the last decade. From my personal perspective, it was exaggerating the size of my stomach, love handles and the loss of hair on my head to the point where it affected my ability to function and caused me to engage in self-destructive behaviors.

2) The documented number of men with eating disorders is increasing. Why do you think this is? Do you think our society and the field is offering more resources for men to seek support?

I think it’s because more men are coming forward and being diagnosed because of increased awareness. The increase in awareness makes it easier for a guy to not be consumed by gender stereotypes and stigma and be honest with his treatment provider or other trusted person. There are absolutely more resources. When I first started going through it in the early eighties there was virtually no awareness nor were there resources. I didn’t even know the words anorexia or bulimia existed.

3) Where does bullying fit in the “eating disorder and BDD spectrum”? Would you say bullying was a trigger for your EDO and BDD? Or is there a way to describe to readers how all of these: EDO, BDD, and Poly-substance abuse are all likely to fall in the same bucket?

Bullying is definitely one of the things that played a major role in the development of my eating disorder, especially when that bullying was related to appearance.  It was certainly that way for me. Can I say it was the only reason? No. There was also fat shaming at home. I was also a very shy and withdrawn child genetically. It is possible there was a pre-disposition to such behavior for me.

I started with a distorted image in the mirror. In my mind, if I could change that image to what, I equated, as something that would cause me to be accepted, then everything would be ok. For me, that was being thin at first. When eating behaviors did not work to change the image, I cycled into alcohol and drug abuse, and, eventually, steroid addiction.  I call it a “BDD Behavior Wheel” -constantly spinning with no end game until I addressed the core issues of the fat shaming and bullying I experienced as a child.

4) As a man who has suffered from an eating disorder, in what ways could an eating disorder impact a man’s life that may differ from a woman? (If any).

Gender specific health issues aside, I think the impact is probably the same from a social and day-to-day standpoint. Shame, isolation, health, and impaired achievement affect both men and women with eating disorders. It is society that views them differently. From a male’s “going through it’ standpoint, I suspect much is the same for both sexes.

5) Do you have any advice for moms and dads raising boys or what to look for in terms of signs that their son may be developing a negative relationship with food and body?

I try not to take the role of a treatment provider since I am not one. I can only speak for my behaviors. These are the behaviors I engaged in: trips to the bathroom with water and/or the shower turned on to hide purging, evidence of purging in the bathroom, scraped/bruised finger joints from purging, and eating tiny portions. I was eating less, staying below a specific number of calories per day. Depression, isolation and social withdrawal are big ones. Children don’t isolate themselves without a reason, something is wrong.

6) In addition to genetics and other environmental stimuli, what role do you think nutrition played in the development of your eating disorder and BDD? Was there a message of health versus thin in your house and if so how do you think this affected the ED/BDD?

Nutrition played a role in that it was something I had no context for. Healthy eating was not really something that was a huge topic of discussion in the early 1970’s. I honestly can’t remember whether it was a topic of discussion in my home. I think my parents did the best they could to provide a healthy food environment within the constraints of awareness of that era. I can say that I tended to not eat healthy because it soothed my loneliness and depression in the moment. This typically occurred during lunch and during the day.

7) In terms of eating – do you now practice intuitive eating, mindful eating and/or how would you generally describe your nutrition intake?

Currently I would say that I practice intuitive eating but, I have to admit, I go through yo-yo phases like many others. I actually consulted a nutritionist about a year or so ago and did pretty well with it, but I have gotten away from healthy/balanced eating more than I would like recently. It’s nothing that ties into my disorder in itself, its just life although when I gain weight because of it that can have an effect on how my BDD thoughts play out.

8) Do you have any words of wisdom to share with adolescents who may be struggling with similar issues?

You are not alone and you are loved.  Find a trusted person you can confide in. There is an end game of recovery and a great life if you can drop the wall of shame and self protection for one second and take one tiny step forward by confiding in those who love and care about you.  Don’t wait 27 years like I did. Do it now.

Shattered Image - BCuban

One of our lucky subscribers will receive a free copy of Brian’s book, Shattered Image!

First be sure you have subscribed to EALM and then you can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following.  Be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you subscribed and liked us! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet “@MomDishesItOut is having a #Giveaway”

Giveaway ends on Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 6:00PM EST.

Contrary to Popular Belief – Men, Also Suffer From Eating Disorders

Contrary to Popular Belief – Men, Also Suffer From Eating Disorders
By: Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Many people believe that the majority of individuals with eating disorders are female. However, recent studies are showing that this is not the case. Males, also, suffer from eating disorders. In fact, the amount of men facing an eating disorder may surprise you.

The National Institute of Mental Health has determined that an estimated 1 million men struggle with eating disorders or roughly 1 in 10 eating disorder patients is a male1. Researchers believe this suggests, not only that the incidence of male eating disorders is increasing, but the amount of men seeking treatment is also rising2.

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A recent report featured in the Journal of Men’s Health and Gender found that a frequent behavior among males with eating disorders is a term called “Anorexia Athleticism,” or extreme and frequent exercise3. It is typical to see male eating disorder patients use excessive exercise to make up for their eating habits or on the other hand, exercising without enough food intake, resulting in possible starvation or Anorexia. Andrew Walen, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist specializing in male eating disorders, states that eating disorders can also stem from childhood bullying (A. Walen, LCSW-C, phone communication, September 2013). For example, a young boy who is bullied because of his weight may be prone to dieting to feel accepted by his peers. This can be a slippery slope that could potentially lead to an eating disorder.

According to NEDA, boys’ and men’s body images are formed by the “attitudes and beliefs that culture attributes to the meaning of masculinity, including the traits of independence, competitiveness,
strength, and aggressiveness. Those who do not conform to the culture’s ideal image tend to have a
lower self-esteem than those who do conform. When males fail to live up to these masculine expectations,
they feel emotionally isolated, and this leads to problem behaviors. These problem behaviors may take
the form of eating disordered beliefs and behaviors”4.

John F. Morgan, the author of The Invisible Man: A Self Help Guide for Men with Eating Disorders, Compulsive Exercise, and Bigorexia, states that if left untreated, male eating disorders can affect aspects of the man’s life, such as “interference with their work, social activities, or just meeting day-to-day responsibilities”5. “While the effects of an eating disorder don’t differ dramatically between males and females,” Andrew Walen explains, “males typically experience a deeper feeling of shame.” The male psyche has an “I can handle it” mentality and admitting the need for help can be difficult for men. There is often a sense of isolation for men, even in recovery (phone communication, September 2013).The good news is that the amount of resources for males with eating disorders is beginning to change with the increasing level of awareness.

Study authors, Kearney-Cooke and Steichen-Asch, state that in our modern day culture “muscular build, overt physical aggression, competence at athletics, competitiveness, and independence” are desirable traits for males, while, “dependency passivity, inhibition of physical aggression, smallness, and neatness” are often viewed as more appropriate for females6. Here at EALM, we encourage families to be very cautious and not fall prey to furthering this type of categorizing and or stereotyping of boys and girls. We ask parents to educate yourselves on eating disorder warning signs that your sons may exhibit.

Possible Warning Signs of EDO Young Boys:

  • Experienced a negative reaction to their bodies from their peers at a young age6.
  • Tendency to share a closer relationship with their mothers, in comparison to their fathers.
  • Dieting in response to being overweight, (whereas females begin to diet because they may “feel” overweight).
  • Likely to manage their weight through exercise and calorie restriction.
  • Fixated on building a muscular “shape,” or a certain look. They are less likely to be fixated on their actual weight on the scale.
  • Participate in the following sports: gymnasts, runners, body builders, rowers, wrestlers, jockeys, dancers, and swimmers. Are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders because their sports necessitate weight restriction. It is important to note that weight loss in an attempt to improve athletic ability differs from an eating disorder when the central psychopathology is absent4.

 In addition to the above signs, there are psychological and biological factors that may also be associated with eating disorders including, but not limited to the following:

  • A lack of coping skills or a lack of control over one’s life
  • Experiencing anxiety, depression, anger, stress, or loneliness
  • Having a family member with an eating disorder

If you feel that you, or a family member, may be suffering from an eating disorder, we’ve provided some suggestions from Andrew Walen:

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  • Visit The National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, Inc.
  • Find a male therapist or find a program that understands the male perspective.
  • Get help wherever you can, educate yourself, and be sure to include your family.
  • Lastly, don’t let shame or your eating disorder voice tell you that you aren’t worth it, because you are.

Here are our recommended resources:

National Eating Disorder Association, NEDA

The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Foundation, iaedp Foundation

The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Foundation of NY, iaedpNY Foundation

The Eating Disorder Referral and Information Center

Diet, Detox, or Disorder – An article featuring Laura Cipullo

Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 1.19.21 PMIf you live in the NYC area, come join us on Sunday, October 6th in a walk to raise awareness of eating disorders at the NYC NEDA Walk. Click here to learn more.



1. Strother, E., Lemberg, R., Stanford, S. C., & Turberville, D. 2012. Eating Disorders in men: Underdiagnosed, undertreated, and Misunderstood. Eating Disorders, 20(5), 346-355.
2. Striegel R.H., Rosselli F., Perrin N., DeBar L., Wilson G.T., May A., and Kraemer, H.C. Gender Difference in the Prevalence of Eating Disorder Symptoms. Intnl J of Eat Dis. 2009; 42.5: 471-474. Available at:
3. Weltzin, T. 2005. Eating disorders in men: Update. Journal of Men’s Health & Gender, 2: 186–193.
4. Shiltz T. Research on Males and Eating Disorders. NEDA. undefined. Available at Accessed September 20, 2013
5. Morgan, J. 2008. The invisible man: A self-help guide for men with eating disorders, compulsive exercise, and bigorexia, New York, NY: Routledge.
6. Kearney-Cooke, A., Steichen-Asch, E. 1990. Men, body image, and eating disorders. Males and Eating Disorders. 54-74.