There was an interesting article in yesterday’s Globe about Aimee Moore, an Ontario woman who has suffered from anorexia and bulimia for the past 16 years. She has tried many kinds of treatment and in February, in an effort to find help, she appeared on the Dr. Phil show—at 60 pounds—where cameras watched her discussing her body image issues, describing herself as "fat, evil and hopeless," even bingeing and purging.
Experts quoted in the article are of two minds on Moore’s media coverage. On the one hand, they say, it draws more attention to the plight of those afflicted with eating disorders, and their need for help. On the other hand, says one psychiatrist, in some cases, the coverage can fuel a sufferer’s need for attention.
I think that in a world—or, at least, a continent—where the prevailing problem related to food is obesity, anorexia and bulimia are poorly understood, and well-thought-out media coverage can spread knowledge about eating disorders and encourage viewers to recognize them in their friends and family. But I wonder—thought note that I haven’t seen the Dr. Phil episode under discussion—if a talk show is the right venue for that kind of coverage.
What do you think? How should sufferers be reaching out to help those who are susceptible to developing eating disorders? Is the media coverage a good thing?