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Child Eating and Weight Initiatives at Yale POWER

Janet Lydecker, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Director of Child Eating and Weight Initiatives at POWER
Associate Director of Clinical-Research Training

The goal of the child focus area of Yale POWER is to help youth and their families through research. There are several on-going projects that look at individual youth, parents, and treatments.

About Eating Disorders in Youth

Binge-eating disorder is a new diagnosis in the DSM-5 that involves binge eating (eating while feeling out of control), but doesn’t have the same purging behaviors (like vomiting) that happen in bulimia nervosa. Although some people start to binge eat when they are adults, others start when they are children or teenagers. We think that if we can treat binge eating when it starts, our treatments will work better.

Do you have binge eating?
1. Do you feel like you can’t stop eating, or can’t control what you eat or how much you eat?
2. Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Or continue eating after you’re full?
3. Do you eat in secret, such as hiding wrappers from snacks so no one knows you ate?
4. Do you eat when you’re bored or tired, or when something happens that makes you sad, angry, lonely, or happy?
5. Do you feel guilty or very unhappy after eating?

If you said “YES” to any of these questions, you might have binge eating – call us to talk about whether our treatment program could be a good fit for you.

Who is eligible?
Teens between 12 and 17 years old who sometimes feel out of control when they eat.

About Weight Bullying

At Teen POWER, we take a strong stance against weight bias and for teens. Some kids are teased or even bullied because of weight. Just like when kids are bullied for other reasons, it is important to remember that being bullied isn’t your fault, it isn’t OK, you don’t deserve it, and there issomething you can do about it.

Have you been bullied?

  • Being made fun of
  • Being called names
  • Getting comments about your looks
  • Getting harassing calls, emails, or texts
  • Receiving verbal threats
  • Having rumors spread about you
  • Being excluded from activities
  • Being ignored
  • Being humiliated in public
  • Being pushed, tripped, or elbowed
  • Being physically assaulted
  • Being spit on
  • Having your property stolen or damaged
  • Having mean things written about you
  • Having jokes made about you
  • Being gossiped about
  • Being told you can’t be someone’s friend
  • Having mean things posted about you online
  • Having mean things written in comments about your pictures

If you said “yes” to even one of these forms of teasing and bullying, call us to talk about whether our treatment program could be a good fit for you.

Who is eligible?
Teens between 11 and 17 years old who sometimes feel out of control when they eat or who have experienced weight-based bullying.

What is the Teen POWER program?

Teen POWER is a research clinic testing new teen versions of “cognitive behavior therapy” (a talk therapy). Programs are either weekly or monthly and are primarily attended by the teen, although parents attend monthly. Our treatment programs are all currently virtual.

How do I get my child involved?
If you think your child might benefit from either our binge eating or weight-based bullying program, please call us so we can talk about whether the Teen POWER program is a good fit for your family.

How do I get my child involved?

If you think your child might benefit from either our binge eating or weight-based bullying program, please call us at 203-785-7210 so we can talk about whether the Teen POWER program is a good fit for your family. Or, fill out this form if you want us to call you.

Select Publications

Lydecker, J. A. & Grilo, C. M. (2017) Children of parents with BED have more eating behavior disturbance than children of parents with obesity or healthy weight. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, 648-656.

Lydecker, J. A. & Grilo, C. M. (2017). Does your child’s weight influence how you judge yourself as a parent? A cross-sectional study to define and examine parental overvaluation of weight/shape. Preventive Medicine, 105, 265-270.

Lydecker, J. A., Park, J., & Grilo, C. M. (2020). Parents can experience impairment due to their children’s weight and problematic eating behaviors. Journal of Adolescent Health.

Lydecker, J. A., Palmberg, A. A., Cotter, E. W., Simpson, C., Kwitowski, M., White, K., & Mazzeo, S. E. (2016). Does this Tweet make me look fat? A content analysis of weight stigma on Twitter. Eating and Weight Disorders, 21, 229-235.

Lydecker, J. A., Riley, K., & Grilo, C. M. (2018). Associations of Parents’ Self, Child, and Other “Fat Talk” with Child Eating Behaviors and Weight. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51, 527–534.

Lydecker, J. A., Silverman, J., & Grilo, C. M. (in press). Disentangling associations of children’s sports participation and compulsive exercise with parenting practices and child disordered eating. Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Find us on Instagram at @yaleteenpower