Could it be that simple? It was with ulcers

Could eating disorders be as simple as a brain disorder set off by malnourishment in those with certain genes? An infection? Something very obvious that we've imbued with all sorts of meanings mostly based on the way we've made it worse by not knowing?

I don't know.

But I do know it has happened before: The Wrong Stuff. Ulcers were largely misunderstood and poorly treated until suddenly they were pretty easily treated. Why didn't the simpler idea turn up earlier? Lots of people had a lot of ideas (and some had a lot of money) invested in other ideas, larger ideas.

I do suspect that the ultimate judgment on eating disorders will be pretty simple and straightforward. I think a lot of people are going to resist these ideas no matter what data they get. (See Semmelweis Reflex) And I think that a certain percentage - just as with ulcers - of these problems will turn out to be more complex and intractable.

But I look forward to the day when we treat eating disorders early and effectively and leave our energies for the minority with more difficult problems.


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