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More pregnant Canadians have eating disorders

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“Before, pregnancy might have been seen (as) an opportunity to relax into one’s body and to experience one’s body as it naturally grows,” said Merryl Bear, the director of the non-profit National Eating Disorder Information Centre in Toronto.

“But there are more challenges to a pregnant woman’s self-perception that are exacerbated by the images and the stories of celebrities who get pregnant, have their babies, and throughout the process … just have their pre-pregnancy body with a bump,” she said.

Dr. Blake Woodside, head of Canada’s largest eating disorders treatment program at Toronto General Hospital, said cases of eating disorders in pregnant women — often referred to in the media as pregorexia — used to be rare.

Our society, he said, has become “fatophobic and fat discriminatory,” even when it relates to expectant mothers.

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