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UK Participants Needed For Study On Reactive Hunger (Extreme Hunger)
Are you between ages 18-55; currently or formerly diagnosed with an ED; have experienced reactive hunger; gone through treatment in the UK? If so, please keep reading!
As you probably are aware, eating disorders are incredibly under-researched, and even practitioners’ understanding of them is often rooted in old and outdated approaches (I’m looking at you, Freud). Within the already under-researched field of eating disorders, we have another very under-researched area: reactive hunger (aka post-starvation hyperphagia, aka extreme hunger) in the context of eating disorders*. This is despite the fact that a majority (note: majority, not all) of people with eating disorders will experience reactive hunger at one point or another, in some form.
Why so little studies on reactive hunger, despite it being so common? My guess is a combination of shame, under-reporting, misunderstanding of what RH is and isn’t and fat-phobia (I wrote a post on how fat-phobia warps our understanding of binge eating here), but I guess that’s for me to dig into further.
I’m doing a qualitative study looking at the lived experiences of those going through reactive hunger. How was it like? Did you feel supported? What helped you get through it? Did you get through it? What kind of ‘support’ was helpful, and what wasn’t? Overall, I’m interested in your lived experiences and perspectives, because learning from and listening to the groups we aim to support is absolutely key!
To participate, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be between 18-55 years of age and based in the UK
- Have a current of former diagnosis of an eating disorder
- Have experienced reactive hunger (‘post-starvation hyperphagia’)
- Be willing to share your experiences with me in a short (20-30 or so minutes) call (audio-only or video call).
That you? (Or you think it might could be but have a few questions prior?) Please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (I will also send you some more information, debrief and consent form to ensure you’re properly informed about your participation and rights, plus I’m happy to answer any relevant question you may have). Please note your participation is anonymous - only I will know your name and identity. Nevertheless, your responses will be transcribed, analysed and potentially cited, so do keep that in mind.
The study is open for any gender, but if you’re a guy (whether cis or trans) you’re especially encouraged to apply. Same goes for trans- and non-binary people. This is because eating disorder studies are often conducted with only cis female participants, which can skew outcomes and interpretations/applicability of results.
As a participant you’ll get priority access to read the full study when finished (which also looks at reactive hunger in great depth - psychologically, biologically, socially, etc. - literally any way I might find to look at it, which at this point is a lot). Your participation is so immensely appreciated. This is a project close to my heart as someone who experienced this phenomena myself ten years ago without much guideline and support, and who now works with clients going through it. More research is so needed.
(*Remove the context of ‘eating disorders’ and suddenly we understand the basic biology of why people and animals who’ve been starved will binge eat in response, as if that same basic biology won’t apply to people with eating disorders…. But hey, maybe that lab rat is emotionally eating?)
If you’re unable to participate but want to help out, a ‘share’ of this post via social media is much helpful!😊