Cynthia Bulik grew up as a lover of international language and culture. She was the first in her family to leave the dry cleaning business and go to college, and she was determined to study diplomacy and international relations. But when she was required to take a psychology class her freshman year at The University of Notre Dame, it changed the course of her life. Bulik is now considered a psychology pioneer and is a world leader in the study of eating disorders.
Her work transformed the field by demonstrating that eating disorders are not just caused by society and culture; genetic factors also play a substantial role. Bulik has written more than 400 scientific papers and chapters on eating disorders and led research collaborations in more than 20 countries around the world. She has also authored a number of books that help translate science for the general public, including “Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop,” (Walker & Company/2009) and “The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like With Who You Are” (Walker & Company/2011). Host Frank Stasio talks to Cynthia Bulik, founding director of the UNC Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders, about her life and work.
Watch her busting nine common eating disorder myths:
- Myth #1: You can tell by looking at someone
- Myth # 2: Families are to blame
- Myth # 3: Mothers are to blame
- Myth # 4: Eating disorders are a choice
- Myth # 5: Eating disorders affect white upper-middle class teenage girls
- Myth # 6: Eating disorders are benign
- Myth # 7: Society alone is to blame
- Myth # 8: Genes are destiny
- Myth # 9: Eating disorders are for life
Here's Cynthia talking about her how her personal life and work inform each other:
Resources for people struggling with eating disorders and their loved ones: