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Anorexic "Night Baker" uses blog to raise money for treatment


It sounds odd when you think about.

A 29-year-old anorexic woman raised enough money to pay for one week at a treatment center--all through baking cookies and other sweets. She posted the pictures of her creations on Facebook and asked for donations on her blog.

The Night Baker

Camilla Kuhns of Kirkland, Washington, says she bakes for everyone but herself. Her brother tests out her final products, while her mom helps taste the frosting for pastries or cakes. She's suffered from various eating disorders since age 11, and as of October of this year, she was obsessively counting calories and starving herself. Oddly enough, she turned to baking to help manage her condition.

"Baking became therapeutic for her. I know it sounds strange but it seems like her way of overcoming her issues with food," said Amber "Nic" Poppe, Kuhns' best friend.

But eating disorder experts say this is not that strange--many people with eating disorders become obsessed with food and the preparation of it. Jennifer Thomas, an assistant psychologist at the Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital in Boston, explains:

"I see a lot of this in my practice. Patients will prepare elaborate meals for friends and family while they themselves go hungry. They get a vicarious joy and a sense of superiority from watching others indulge while they don't allow themselves to eat."

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment

In a well-known 1943 study called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, researchers found that men who were put on a semi-starvation diet became obsessed with food after the experiment was over. A few even switched careers to become professional chefs.

Experts note that eating disorder patients are often very fond of cooking shows, collecting recipes and preparing meals--but they don't necessarily enjoy their own creations.

Kuhns has been in treatment since October and has been documenting her experiences and thoughts on her blog, The Night Baker. She is still asking people to support her cause by donating money via her site.

Source: ABC News