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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

Click here for more information about this study and to find out if you are eligible.

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 study could be a good fit for you.

Who is Eligible?

Teens between 13 and 17 years old who sometimes feel out of control when they eat.

What is the Teen POWER program?

Teen POWER is a research study testing whether a teen version of “cognitive behavior therapy” (a talk therapy) that we know works for adults with binge-eating disorder can also work for adolescents. The program is 4 months long and a parent attends monthly.

How do I get my child involved?

“If you think your child might be binge eating, 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. (in press). 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., Cunningham, P., O’Brien, E., & Grilo, C. M. (in press). Parents’ perceptions of parent-child interactions related to eating and body image: An experimental vignette study. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention.

Lydecker, J. A. & Grilo, C. M. (2016). The apple of their eye: Attitude and behavior correlates of parents’ perceptions of child obesity. Obesity, 25, 1124-1131.

BMI Calculator

Click here to view the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's BMI Percentile Calculator for Children and Teens.