swimming pools / thinness

Damion Berger

Thin, Lauren Greenfield’s documentary on girls with eating disorders, was harrowing. I knew that eating disorders were a rising problem, but I had no idea how prevalent they are and how serious they can get.

It also hadn’t occurred to me that insurance coverage for treatment was an issue – at least two of the girls had to leave treatment prematurely because their insurance ran out once they reached a certain level of treatment. It does make me wonder why the Renfrew Center doesn’t do away with the concept of levels and simply assess their patients’ progress on a more binary basis focused on whether they are ready to handle their problems independently. Maybe the positive reinforcement is more important? Maybe the insurance companies actually require it?

Perhaps coverage is difficult ot get because treatment, at least for the most serious cases, is so depressingly ineffective. Patients had been hospitalized multiple times, suffered heart and liver damage, attempted suicide, yet they are so psychologically attached to their disorders that they’re unable to see that they are already thin, that it’s not worth it to die trying to impossibly thin. In fact, several of the girls irrationally prefer dying to being “fat.”

I’m going to get a secondhand copy of the companion book. If you want to find out more, you can read an interview with Greenfield about Thin and watch video interviews on Greenfield’s website.


~ by Jin on January 29, 2009.

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