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What if eating freely in the era of social distancing were not something to fear?

We’ve all seen them- the ‘quarantine 15’ memes.  Perhaps an image of Wonder Woman transformed from lean to zaftig, or a statue of David with notable increased abdominal adiposity with the caption  ‘after COVID’. We’ve also all heard the commentary. Like the woman on my social media feed who swore she needed to take 25,000 steps (yes, if you’re counting, that’s almost ten miles!) per day while working from home, in order not to gain weight.  And all the posts joking that ‘summer bodies are canceled’.

As an eating disorders psychiatrist, these images and this type of talk concern me. First, I am of course concerned for those in our society who are vulnerable to the development of a full-blown, clinical eating disorder and may be triggered by such input. However, I’m also pretty concerned for the rest of us- not as a psychiatrist, but as a fellow human being.

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