It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, so we caught up with Julie Lesser, MD, and medical director at Children’s Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders to learn more about her role.
How long have you worked at Children’s?
I arrived at Children’s in 2011 to start the eating disorder program. It was a high point in my career, and it just keeps getting better.
It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Tell us about the eating disorder program at Children’s.
The top priority of our program is to get treatments that work into the hands of patients and families. At Children’s there is a warm, positive team of highly specialized staff including: nurses, dieticians, child life associates, physical therapists, hospitalists and other specialists to help with medical issues connected to malnutrition. We see patients of all ages, including very young children, and are able to individualize care and admit patients up to college age to our program on the sixth floor of Children’s — Minneapolis. We have a separate unit for adults at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
If you could make families aware of anything about eating disorders, what would it be?
The best way to prevent any problems with eating or weight control is to do what we call regular eating with a pattern of eating meals and snacks throughout the day, using flexible guidelines and eating enough to stay in a healthy weight range.
When you’re not at work, how do you spend your time?
I like to hang out with my family, listening to music, watching movies, walking or jumping on our trampoline. Mostly I am bossed around by the two youngest members of our family, our Jack Russell puppies, Phoebe and Phillip. My secret wish is to write a children’s book called “The Problem Solving Child,” in which our heroine faces many challenges, and a few villains, and finds surprising resources within and around herself.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Some place warm, where I could wear flip-flops all day long.
For more information on eating disorder treatment at Children’s, check out our recent blog post on what you may not know about these serious illnesses.