rusq: Vol. 53 Issue 2: p. 197
Sources: Eating Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
Abigail Creitz

Technical Services Librarian, Vincennes University, Vincennes, Indiana

Most recently, the only encyclopedic resource to make eating disorders an integral part of its focus was Dana K. Cassell and David H. Gleaves’ The Encyclopedia of Obesity and Eating Disorders (Facts On File, 2000), leaving a gap filled by Eating Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Treatment, and Prevention. There are 175 articles included in the 498 page, single volume encyclopedia. The articles are arranged alphabetically, following a loose formatting that generally includes the topic’s definition, overview and history, related articles, conclusion and bibliography. Article length averages 2 pages, though at times they vary widely in length from 1 to 7 pages, and some are accompanied by photographs or illustrations. Also included are a table of contents, timeline, appendix containing two case illustrations, and index.

Eating Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Treatment, and Prevention covers all eating disorders recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It addresses possible origins of distorted body image from participation in aesthetic sports, team sports, family influences, certain social groups, and personality disorders. It explains various methods of treatment varying from Dialectical Behavior Therapy to equine therapy, as well as prevention through assessment and early warning signs. Lastly, it also includes articles on Karen Carpenter and selective university campus groups that seem on the fringe of its intended scope.

Eating Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Treatment, and Prevention’s strength lays in its conciseness, which does not overwhelm the reader with a glut of information while providing a good starting point for research. It does not just inform on the different types of eating disorders, but addresses the societal pressures and other disorders that often lead to or stem from an eating disorder, which might be useful to the reader in matters of serendipitous discovery of topics.

On the other hand, there seems to be a bias by the editor throughout the volume, starting with a personal introduction that appears to have influenced the selection of article topics. There are also very few illustrations and photographs accompanying the articles, and the photographs that are included are mainly of high profile people who suffered from eating disorders.

This resource seems intended for low-level undergraduates. I recommend with reservation.

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