Eating Disorders Treatment

There is a growing understanding of how powerful brain processes contribute to behaviors that create and sustain anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Such knowledge has resulted in court rulings, such as a recent New Jersey case, that have classified eating disorders as a biologically based brain disorder.

In turn, this has compelled insurance companies to cover eating disorders in the same way they pay for physical illnesses. However, relatively little has been done to apply new understanding of biology to develop more effective treatment – until now.

Rady Children’s and the UC San Diego Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research are using treatment approaches based on this new knowledge – and getting excellent results. These approaches include helping children and adolescents with eating disorders to:

  • Learn to be successful in a “real-world” environment by helping them – and their entire family – develop effective support strategies. This family-based treatment approach, known as the Maudsley model, has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce relapses.
  • Develop more effective strategies to cope with the altered appetite, reward, anxiety, obsession, and impulse control alterations that contribute to the difficulty of sustaining recovery.

Rady Children’s and UC San Diego are among the only places that provide Maudsley family-based treatment, which requires specialized training. As a result, patients come to us from throughout the country and around the world for our expertise.

Video: Dr. Walter Kaye discusses the biology of eating disorders