NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS AWARENESS WEEK
It seems that everyone knows someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins the last Monday in February and brings education, support, and understanding to a deadly condition. All body types are encouraged to participate, share their experiences and come as they are, not as they think they should be.
Eating disorders are complex mental disorders that cause people to have excessive fear and anxiety. Their fears and anxiety emanate from eating, body image, and weight gain that lead to unhealthy behaviors.
Three of the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa. Weight-based teasing and bullying have also been identified as typical experiences for youth, particularly for those who may be heavier.
The good news is there is much better help than just a few years ago. Today, personalized custom treatments and therapies are available for people with eating disorders.
HOW TO OBSERVE #EatingDisordersAwarenessWeek
Encourage youth to eat healthily and to be active. Talk to your child’s physician or another health provider if you notice signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. There are many other ways to participate:
- Share your experiences so that others may benefit from what you’ve learned.
- Host or attend a seminar about eating disorders.
- Intervene when you see bullying in action.
- Support the promotion of positive body image.
- Learn more at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Promote the day on social media with the hashtags #NEDAwareness & #ComeAsYouAre!
Set a good example – Don’t tease people about their weight. Don’t talk negatively about other people’s bodies – or your own.
NATIONAL EATING DISORDERS AWARENESS WEEK HISTORY
Eating disorders have been documented back to the 12th Century. Before that, in the time of Caeser, it was common for wealthy Romans to eat and binge. They overindulged at lavish banquets and then relieved themselves by vomiting so they could return to the feast and continue eating.
However, conditions like bulimia and anorexia didn’t come to the attention of the mental health community until the 1970s.
In about 2000, national awareness campaigns such as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week began.