Gem no. 1: formal or informal?
Are you an academic looking for articles on eating disorders because you’re doing research? Or are you a lay-person seeking knowledge and understanding? Just wanting relevant information without wading through academic terms. Do you want to read about an official DSM-IV diagnosis of ‘Muscle Dysmorphia’ and be given an official definition like: “It’s a psychological disorder marked by a negative body image and an obsessive desire to have a muscular physique.” Or do you want to read that ‘Bigorexia’ (which is also known as the ‘Adonis complex’) is an obsession with building BIG and muscular bodies. What kinds of articles on eating disorders speak your kind of language?
P.S. Before someone wraps me over the knuckles…. in truth Muscle Dysmorphia isn’t a true eating disorder, however, body dissatisfaction is probably the most central ingredient in all eating disorders and in laymans terms it falls under an eating disorder in most people’s mind. Of course, Bigorexia often does have a dietary and supplement component too as the illness progresses.
Gem no. 2: Links to quizzes or diagnostic criteria
Does this eating disorder article offer you tools (or links to tools) – like eating disorder quizzes – so that you can see when you (or someone you love) is on a slippery slope? So often I read an article on an eating disorder and wonder whether the reader is any clearer at the end of it all about whether they are in danger or not. An assessment tool really can be a big help.
And are you looking for an informal quiz like those you’ll find at the Ditch Diets Live Light website (you’ll find a link to them below) or do you want the official diagnostic criteria as laid down for Clinical use.
Gem no. 3: similarities and comparisons
Do they link and cross reference with other articles on eating disorders. Because here’s the thing – so often one eating disorder has many things in common with another. For example: what are the differences and similarities between, Exercise bulimia (and yes I do know that just like Bigorexia it’s not an official eating disorder diagnosis in the DSM-IV) and Bigorexia? Or, how do Orthorexia (also not a DSM-I) diagnosis and Anorexia compare? The eating disorder articles you’ll find at the Ditch Diets Live Light website are fabulous for helping you sort out the similarities and differences.
Gem no. 4: the face behind the article
Are these articles on eating disorders written by someone from the medical or psychological profession? Or someone who has been a victim of an eating disorder? Or perhaps someone (like myself) who is a psychologist with a special passion for food and body issues because I’ve also done my time with not one, but a couple different eating disorders?
You’ll either get an academically correct account, a personal but possibly less accurate account, or a combination of both knowledge and experience. What you get when it comes to articles on eating disorders have a lot to do with the ‘face’ behind them, but be sure you’re choosing articles that give you what you’re looking for.