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  • Faith, Food, and Holidays with an ED.

    Posted on September 18, 2015 by

    As Yom Kippur approaches many patients have questions regarding following the meal plans that are a part of most eating disorder treatments. In several faiths, holiday customs that involve fasting often lead to dilemmas for patients when deciding whether to follow the recommendations of their eating disorder treatment team or to follow their religious practices for the holiday. The truth is that, for most faiths, the care and well-being of the body with regards to a medical issues is the primary decision factor. I often refer my patients to discuss these matters with their faith’s spiritual advisors (priest, rabbi, etc.), especially when it comes to the decision to not fast during fasting holidays when regular meals are an important part of the eating disorder treatment plan. In all my years, I have yet to have a case where the spiritual advisor has told a patient to fast against medical advise when any issue of treatment, safety or well-being is at hand. And while some patients may look forward to a reason to fast for eating disorder reasons, most who feel they are in a dilemma will find a consult with their spiritual advisor supportive towards their treatment and can proceed with peace of mind that they are within their religion’s practices for self-care. – Dr. Jeffrey DeSarbo

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