National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Sunday, February 26 through Saturday March 3 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
As this month’s theme is awareness, we have a guest post from my co-worker Cal Ledbetter. He has spent a lot of his time volunteering with eating disorder awareness organizations and would like to share some information that may surprise you.
Eating disorders are devastating. Awareness of eating disorders is so important because it is an issue that commonly gets brushed under the rug. Men and women with eating disorders are often times marginalized. Men are marginalized as having a “woman’s problem”, and women are marginalized for being too “looks” obsessed. Both of these ideas are untrue. Over 8 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder, one million of them are men. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It is reported that 5-10% of people with anorexia die within ten years of contracting the disease. The mortality rate is 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females 15-24 years old. This is why it’s important to know the facts about eating disorders and where to get help.
- People do not have eating disorders because they are “vain.” Eating disorders are usually a by-product of anxiety, depression, or feeling out of control
- It’s not as easy as convincing someone to eat, or to not purge. These diseases are not easily recovered from. Telling someone they “look better bigger,” or “don’t need to worry about their weight” often does not help.
- Teenage girls are not the only people who have eating disorders. Middle-aged and elderly women can also suffer from eating disorders, as well as men of all ages and children as young as five.
- People can fully recover from eating disorders. The early it is treated, the better.
More information about eating disorders can be found here.
Help raise awareness during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. For more information, click here.
If you know someone with an eating disorder, look into getting them help, here.