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TORONTO, Feb. 9 /CNW/ - A leading American author today examined father-daughter relationships in connection to eating disorders in women. In an address at the sixth annual Sheena's Place Awareness Breakfast, presented by Scotiabank, Dr. Margo Maine also said fathers must make greater efforts to relate to their daughters. "Father hunger is the natural hunger that children have for contact and emotional connection with their dad. It's something that all children want, and that many children don't have. Fathers can work a little harder to relate to their daughters," said Dr. Maine, a clinical psychologist, specializing in the treatment of eating disorders for over 25 years. Dr. Maine is also the author of Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters and the Pursuit of Thinness, clinical consultant at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, and former director of their eating disorders program. "Dads need to understand what a girl's life is like today in this globalized, highly technological culture," said Dr. Maine. "A father has to be able to understand the pressures on a girl today in all areas of her life and he has to show interest in who she is and in her activities." The sixth annual Sheena's Place Awareness Breakfast, presented by Scotiabank, is a focal point for Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Sheena's Place is also hosting its seventh annual Open Forum for the general public on Saturday, February 10, 2007 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. This year's Open Forum features Dr. Maine, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. David Goldbloom. The Forum will take place at the Velma Rogers Graham Theatre in the Rogers Building on Bloor Street East. Pre-registration is required by contacting Sheena's Place and the event is free. "While we may have focused on the mother's role related to eating disorders, we think it is also important to focus on the father's role in the emotional development of their daughters," said Anne Elliott, Program Director, Sheena's Place. "At Sheena's Place, we hope to offer a father hunger group in order to focus on the positive and crucial roles that fathers play in their daughters' identity, self-esteem and body image." With the help of many corporate sponsors like Scotiabank, the Awareness Breakfast will provide program support and development at Sheena's Place, potentially improving people's attitudes about themselves and their bodies. Last year's event raised over $215,000. "At Scotiabank, we realize that the vast majority of people who suffer from eating disorders are women," said Sylvia Chrominska, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Scotiabank. "As a major employer of women, we recognize the importance of supporting the efforts of community organizations like Sheena's Place, that provide help and a safe place to heal for the families affected by eating disorders." Eating disorders occur more frequently among young adult females. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. About 15 per cent of people with anorexia die from problems directly related to their illness. There are three main types of diagnosed eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Sheena's Place is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that offers hope and support to individuals and families affected by eating disorders and related issues. It currently provides over 50 support groups per week. Founded in July 1994 following the tragic death of 22-year-old Sheena Carpenter, Sheena's Place is the first centre of its kind in the world. It offers programs and services free of charge and relies on the generous support of individuals, foundations, corporations and special events for funding. Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2006 the Bank provided more than $42 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education and social services. Scotiabank is on the World Wide Web at www.scotiabank.com.
For further information: Livy Feldgajer, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416) 866-6203, firstname.lastname@example.org; Anne Elliott, Sheena's Place, (416) 927-8900