Eating disorders, on A Healthier Charlotte | CLT Blog

Eating disorders, on A Healthier Charlotte

Posted on 22 Nov 2011 by Bobby DeMuro

This week on A Healthier Charlotte, we tackle a very pervasive and sensitive public health topic — disordered eating.

The Issue
Most of you are likely familiar with some eating disorders — like anorexia and bulimia — but the National Institutes of Health defines an eating disorder as “an illness that causes serious disturbances to your every day diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely overeating.”

Eating disorders frequently make their first appearance during teen years or young adulthood but many also develop during childhood, and later in life. The three most common eating disorders, which we discuss on the show, are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

The Numbers
Statistics from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health estimate several things about eating disorders:

  • 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men
  • One in 200 American women suffer from anorexia
  • Three in 100 American women suffer from bulimia
  • Nearly half of all Americans know someone with an eating disorder
  • An estimated 1015% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • The mortality rate for anorexia is 12 times higher than the rate of ALL other causes of death for females 1524 years old.
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems

The Show
This week on the show, we’re joined by four guests, starting with Lynn Dreyer, an advocate fighting to cure eating disorders with her organization Melissa’s Voice, a Charlotte-based non-profit foundation that raises funds and awards treatment scholarships for those battling eating disorders.

Lynn lost her sister, Melissa, to suicide in 2007 after Melissa’s lifelong battle with an eating disorder, and Lynn joins us on the show to tell her story and share her advocacy.

We also speak with three medical professionals about the clinical aspects of eating disorders and treatment. Joining us on the medical panel are:

Bilal Ghandour, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist, Southeast Psych

Preeti Matkins, MD, FAAP, FSAHM
Director, Adolescent Medicine, Levine Children’s Hospital
Medical Director, Teen Health Connection

Jessica McCormick, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian, Teen Health Connection

After the show, visit A Healthier Charlotte for web extras, behind-the-scenes footage, and more. We have several informative videos covering nutrition education that are exclusive to the AHC website.

Have any questions or comments? Write us below, or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

On December 6, our fifth episode will air from WTVI’s studios in Charlotte, covering behavioral sleep medicine and stress relief. Stay tuned!


  1. Tommy Bahamas 23 Nov 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Cool show! Sensitive topic and you did very well balancing information with sensitivity. Know a few people who have battled eating disorders. Not a fun thing. Thank you for doing a show on it, and providing great information!

  2. Lavonne B. 24 Nov 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Really good job with a really sensitive topic. Thank you for bringing this to life!

  3. LBU 25 Nov 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Great job Bobby. The Teen Health Connection people seem really good, I’ve seen them before on your show and elsewhere and they really have it together, no doubt a great organization that CLT can be proud of!

  4. Kyle 27 Nov 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Somebody very close to me went through this not three or four years ago. She got the treatment she needed (and that was discussed on this show), and since then she’s been fine. It’s great to see somebody is taking charge in this community and opening up the discussion about it. Thank you for giving good medical information attention and an outlet, and providing a stream where we can learn more about medicine. Health education in this country is suffering. But it’s not all bad, and YOU are part of the good!

  5. nahaylajwilson 27 Nov 2011 at 1:09 AM

    Nice production! You’ll have me tuning in for the next one and then after that. Bobby good work!

  6. Tiamany 27 Nov 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Good info. Dr. Matkins looks like the real deal — good job on the panel everybody!

  7. Helen Talmadge 28 Nov 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Good job Lynn, a very powerful advocate and sopkeperson for so many who suffer. Keep up the good work, Melissa is proud of you. Her death has such meaning and others will get much needed help because of you.

  8. Brock 28 Nov 2011 at 8:18 PM

    I’ma need to pay attention to the sleep show.… cuz I don’t get enough! Can’t wait for it. PS good job today on this one.

  9. EZ Tone 1 Dec 2011 at 2:24 PM

    Bobby, GOOD JOB!!! These shows are great bro. When you gettin’ on TV with em and more important when am I gonna see you on CNN dude?!