Dr. Drew makes light of his ‘exercise bulimia’
Dr. Drew Pinsky recently admitted on CNN to exercising obsessively to stay slim — a condition not technically a mental disorder but what some people call “exercise bulimia.”
He joked about his condition: “A little whiff of a mental-health issue never hurt anybody.”
Doctors at the Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore said they found the comment disturbing. Calling exercise bulimia a “mild” mental-health disorder sends the wrong message, they said.
Something that might seem minor could be indicative of a full-blown eating disorder or the first signs of one. Such disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to Sheppard Pratt. Without treatment, 5 to 20 percent of people with eating disorders might die of complications related to their illness.
“It’s particularly concerning to see high-profile medical professionals, in this case an internist, minimizing what is a very serious disorder for a lot of people,” center director Harry Brandt said.
“Statements like Dr. Drew’s trivialize a dangerous behavior and, unfortunately, make it more difficult for individuals to justify getting help.”