What are your thoughts on the current state of eating disorder (ED) treatment? Do you have an eating disorder philosophy?

Treatment for EDs should vary based on the individualized assessment and diagnosis. All patients entering ED treatment should not receive the same type of food and generic nutrition education. The majority of eating disorder treatment available clearly resembles the approach used for anorexia nervosa (AN) and there are many principles from AN treatment which should be applied to EDs as a whole. For example, the treatment team should provide consistent ED-informed messages that challenge self-destructive “black-and-white thinking.” Meanwhile, there is a world of new information that needs to be integrated for bulimics and those with binge eating disorder (BED). Nutrition education should acknowledge the profound impact that contemporary food has on the human gut, brain, and endocrine system. Providers should explore these concepts with their patients and be willing to validate their difficulties navigating the food supply. Furthermore, food addiction is a valid construct that should be incorporated into the spectrum of disordered eating, particularly for those patients with bulimia nervosa (BN), BED, and co-occurring addictive disorders (alcohol/drug). Most ED treatment is designed for an anorexic and thereby fails to meet the needs of other individuals with other forms of disordered eating.

Do all foods fit? Is “moderation” your message?

All foods can fit. But not all foods fit for all people. And just because the Food Industry manufactures and markets it, does not mean we should eat it. You can recover from an eating disorder without eating endless amounts of highly palatable processed foods. Traditional treatment for EDs is centered on an “exchange system” which is inherently flawed. For example, by teaching clients that they can “exchange” their carbohydrates for any other carbohydrate suggest that all calories are equal. A calorie is not a calorie. What you eat matters.

What is unique about Nutrition in Recovery?

We talk about nutrition in a way that most people have never heard before. Our emphasis goes way beyond calories. We help people explore the profound impact that food has on the brain, the gut, and the endocrine system (hormones). We are behavioral health nutritionists, recognizing the challenges faced when attempting to make positive health changes. We will help you on the path to a new way of life. If you struggle with addiction and/or eating disorder, Nutrition in Recovery is the program for you. We can show you how to navigate the food supply.

What are your specialties?

Specialties include: Food Addiction, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Weight Management, Sports Nutrition, and General Wellness. There is no “one size fits all” approach to recovery. We will help you figure out what the right solution is for whatever you are struggling with. We will give you the truth.
We look at the entire dimension of physical wellness: food, beverage, exercise, sleep, sunlight etc. If you are struggling with caffeine, nicotine, etc. we can help you break free. Our expertise is in nutrition but our passion is recovery. We love to see people rise up above their problems.
Learn more about what’s new in eating disorder recovery HERE

Dr. David Wiss became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in 2013 and founded Nutrition in Recovery, a group practice of RDNs specializing in treating eating and substance use disorders. In 2017, David received the “Excellence in Practice” award at the National Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. The California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics awarded him the “Emerging Dietetic Leader Award” in 2020. He earned his Ph.D. from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health in the Community Health Sciences department (with a minor in Health Psychology) by investigating the links between adverse childhood experiences and various mental health outcomes among socially disadvantaged men. His treatment philosophy is based on a biopsychosocial model which incorporates an understanding of biological mechanisms, psychological underpinnings, and contextual factors that integrate the social determinants of health. Wise Mind Nutrition is an app-based interactive treatment program available for download now - https://wisemindnutrition.com/download.

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