#15: Why is puberty so critical to body positivity?

with Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS, FAED

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In this episode we discuss…

  • dr. g’s medical background and how she began working with people with eating disorders

  • dr. g’s unique model for providing outpatient medical care for eating disorders in her clinic

  • two ways puberty can lead to risk for development of eating disorders and disordered eating

  • the connection between emotions, physical symptoms, and well-intentioned advice about diet that can ultimately reinforce restricting food and disordered eating

  • the normative changes that bodies go through during adolescence

  • weight gain, BMI changes, and growth curves during puberty

  • how to talk to your pediatrician and your child about weight gain during puberty

  • creating family values around body diversity and body positivity

  • health at every size in the medical system

  • how parents can work to prevent body dissatisfaction in their children

  • when stress management and distress tolerance might be useful in addressing digestive symptoms

  • validating your child’s emotional experiences

Physician Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani draws on her extensive experience providing medical care for people with eating disorders to help us understand why puberty is a vulnerable time for young people when it comes to developing disordered eating and body image concerns. We discuss what parents can do to help adolescents in this time period, particularly when it comes to navigating the doctor’s office and changing bodies.

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Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS, FAED is the Founder and Medical Director of the Gaudiani Clinic. Board Certified in Internal Medicine, she completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard, medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, and her internal medicine residency and chief residency at Yale. Dr. Gaudiani has been a leader in the eating disorders field for over 10 years and served as the Medical Director at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders prior to founding the Gaudiani Clinic which is a Denver-based outpatient medical clinic dedicated to people with eating disorders and disordered eating. The Gaudiani Clinic is a HAES (Health At Every Size)®-informed provider and embraces treating people of all shapes and sizes.
Dr. Gaudiani has lectured nationally and internationally, is widely published in the scientific literature as well as on blogs, is a current member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders and the Academy for Eating Disorders Medical Care Standards Committee, and is a former board member of iaedp. Dr. Gaudiani is one of a very small number of internal medicine physicians who is certified as an eating disorders expert. She is also a Fellow in the Academy for Eating Disorders. Dr. Gaudiani’s first book, Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders, was released in October 2018.

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Click here to access Dr. Gaudiani’s suggested script for speaking to your child about weight before a trip to the pediatrician.

Jordan Best