Eat, You Have A Choice: Interview With Harriet Brown

I was so honored to interview Harriet Brown. She is great authority to me. I think that Harriet is the best an American writer, magazine editor and professor of magazine journalism.

“Harriet Brown has written for the New York Times Magazine, O, Health, Glamour, Vogue, and many other publications. She has covered topics from fat acceptance to forgiveness. A frequent contributor to the Tuesday New York Times science section, she writes about issues that affect the lives of women and children. Her latest book, Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia, recounts her family’s efforts to help their oldest daughter recover from anorexia nervosa. Brown is the editor of two anthologies (Feed Me! and Mr. Wrong), and several other nonfiction books, including The Good-Bye Window: A Year in the Life of a Day-Care Center. Her radio essays can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “To the Best of Our Knowledge.” She co-chairs Maudsley Parents, a website of resources for families struggling with eating disorders, and is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders. Brown is an assistant professor of magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in Syracuse, New York, where she created Project BodyTalk, an audio project that collects commentaries about people’s relationship to food, eating, and their bodies She lives in central New York with her family.”- via Psychology Today

1.Eating disorders are plague among the youth. More and more children have a problem with the perception of their own body, and the media promoting a “Size 0” lifestyle. Community portals and forums agree to create pages promote anorexia and bulimia. Governments in many countries running campaigning fighting with obesity but anorexia and bulimia are “taboo” theme. Do you think that parents and teachers should be informed about the first signs of eating disorders that begin treatment as soon as possible ?

Harriet Brown: Absolutely. The earlier someone gets treatment, the better. (But you can still recover even after being sick for many years.) You mention many “triggers,” events and situations that are common in our culture and that can start someone dieting or starving. It’s like treating cancer–the sooner you stop it and destroy it, the better the prognosis.

2. In the book “Brave Girl Eating”, you described your daughter’s struggle with anorexia. How do you remember that time?

Harriet Brown: I remember it very well. In fact she is still struggling, at 22, though she is nowhere near as sick as she was at 14. Still, she is not recovered yet either. But I continue to be proud of her as she battles this terrible disease.

3. Also in the book, you mentioned about family based treatment(FBT), could you describe how looks this therapy?

Harriet Brown: In FBT, parents (or other people–it doesn’t have to be parents) take responsibility for a person’s eating while they’re in the process of gaining weight. In Phase 2, control over eating is gradually transferred back to the person. In Phase 3, other issues that may have come up are address.

4.What advice do you have for children and young people who struggle with eating disorders?

Harriet Brown: Never give up! I know people who have recovered after many years. And full recovery is not only possible but common. Don’t settle for half-recovery; it really really makes a difference to gain all the weight you need to gain and let your body and brain heal.

5. You published a several books. What is your inspiration?

Harriet Brown: I have wanted to be a writer since I was 12 years old. It’s pretty much the only thing I’m good at. 🙂

6. Thank you so much for this interview. Do you have a message for your readers?

Harriet Brown: Remember that everyone is struggling with something. Be kind to yourselves most of all and to other people.

You can follow Harriet Brown on Twitter: HERE or her web page: HERE