Hair Test Can Identify Eating Disorders, But How Useful Is It?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

What would my hair tell them about my eating habits?

Researchers at BYU must have too much money on their hands. They are working on a test that can detect eating disorders by testing a sample of hair.

The folks at Treatment Online have a good reason why this test might be just an excuse to bill the insurance company.

“A month of growth is necessary for the test to be administered. But often patients in treatment are seen on a much more regular basis, and may fall back on unhealthy eating behaviors after a short time. The scale, used by many therapists in office environments, provides a much more valuable readout in terms of progress. In that way, even if the hair test was refined, it may still only prove to be a beneficial back up.”

More importantly, the fact that poor eating habits can be detected in the hair just shows how damaging diseases like bulimia and anorexia are to the body. Don’t give in to the temptation. Choose life and eat a healthy and balanced diet with moderate exercise.


2 Responses to “Hair Test Can Identify Eating Disorders, But How Useful Is It?”

  1. Susan Hilf Says:

    Many people with eating disorders are skilled at cheating the scales in the doctors office. The hair test (when futher developed) will be a cheat free way for doctors to test the health of their patients. You should realize weight is not always a sign of health. Many bulimics weigh a normal amount and have normal BMIs. This does not mean they are healthy. The fact that you say “don’t give in to the temptation” shows how little you understand of the subject. Eating disorders are not choice. Would you tell someone “don’t choose to have heart disease”?

  2. Autumn Says:

    I agree with Susan wholeheartedly. Weight is in no way the best indication of progress in recovery. And as far as “just an excuse to bill the insurance company,” do you have any idea what inpatient treatment for anorexia costs? Upwards to $1,000 a day. Furthermore, insurance companies are extremely reluctant to help with these costs. Many companies refuse to cover treatment unless an individual is at a BMI of 15 or less (anorexia is diagnosed at a BMI of 17.5 or less). And again, I agree with Susan as far as the “temptation” comment is concerned. As if hair and teeth falling out, osteoporosis, kidney failure, loss of gray matter, and surgically implanted feeding tubes are really temptations. Eating disorders are in no way a choice. They are serious mental illnesses with devastating health consequences.

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