Food Psych #198: Preventing Disordered Eating in the Next Generation with Lauren Muhlheim, Psychologist and Eating-Disorder Specialist

Lauren Muhlheim.jpg

Eating-disorders psychologist Lauren Muhlheim joins us to discuss how we can model a peaceful relationship with food for the kids in our lives, the problem with “childhood obesity” interventions, how some eating-disorder-treatment methods are being co-opted for weight loss, the rise of orthorexia, weight bias in medicine and the eating-disorders field, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about the Biggest Loser reboot and shares the official description that will be on the book jacket of her upcoming book, Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating.

Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS is a psychologist, certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS), and IAEDP (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals) - approved supervisor who provides evidence-based treatment for eating disorders in the outpatient setting. She directs Eating Disorder Therapy LA in Los Angeles and is able to provide teletherapy in California and New York. She provides cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adults and family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescents and adheres to Health at Every Size® principles. She is certified in FBT by the Training Institute for Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders.

Dr. Muhlheim is the author of When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating, published by New Harbinger Publications in September, 2018. This book is an FBT-based book for parents who are helping adolescents with eating disorders.

Dr. Muhlheim is active in several professional organizations. Dr Muhlheim is the Eating Disorders Expert for Verywell (formerly and is Clinical Director of the Eating Disorder Information website, Mirror-Mirror Eating Disorders. She presents nationally to parents, professionals, and trainees. She is active on social media and in eating disorder advocacy efforts. Find her online at

Christy’s upcoming book, Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! Be one of the first to get a copy of the book and help spread the anti-diet message to more people when you pre-order at

We Discuss:

  • The lineage of dieting in Lauren’s family

  • Her different experiences with dieting

  • What helped her overcome dieting and disordered eating

  • What motivated her to become an eating-disorders psychologist

  • Psychodynamic therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E)

  • How CBT is often co-opted for weight loss

  • Adopting a weight-inclusive approach in the weight-centric healthcare field

  • Lauren’s different roles throughout her career as a psychologist, including starting the Shanghai International Mental Health Association

  • Family-based treatment (FBT)

  • Weight bias and diet mentality in the eating-disorders field

  • Goal weights in eating-disorder recovery, and the problem with setting them too low

  • Parents gaining weight and recovering from diet culture when helping their child recover from an eating disorder

  • Why diagnostic criteria for eating disorders can be problematic

  • Orthorexia, and how our culture has contributed to its development as an eating disorder

  • Health At Every Size as a treatment framework for eating-disorder recovery

  • How parents, especially those who are in eating-disorder recovery, can model a more peaceful relationship with food for their children

  • Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility (DoR)

  • Why DoR doesn’t work for kids with eating disorders

  • Early signs of disordered eating in children

  • FBT as an early intervention for disordered eating in kids

  • How eating disorders are often missed in sports and healthcare

  • The problem with “childhood obesity” interventions

  • Lauren’s book, When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Overcome Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating


Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

What is Christy and the Health At Every Size community saying about the return of The Biggest Loser? What were some of the harmful outcomes of the show? How does The Biggest Loser uphold The Wellness Diet? What makes The Wellness Diet so harmful? Why are there doubts that The Biggest Loser reboot won’t be different from the original version? What are some ways that people can speak out against this show?

(Resources Mentioned:

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