Show Your Support For Biedaw In 3 Key Ways:
1. Reject diet culture
Our friends at The Butterfly Foundation are sharing a lots of information and resources about diet culture during BIEDAW 2021.
- Say no to fad diets. Dieting is the single biggest behavioural risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Research also shows that 95% of diets do not work!
- Remove moral value from food. Think about how you speak about food do you talk about being naughty or cheating with food? Theres no such things as good and bad foods. Food is food!
- Stop following people on social media who promote diet culture or make you feel like you need to change your body . Take the time to reflect on how you feel after viewing content, and take steps to unfollow, mute or not search for that content anymore.
- Embrace body neutrality. You dont have to love your body. Work towards acknowledging and accepting the way your body is.
When Is Eating Disorder Awareness Month
While there is no official eating disorder awareness month, there is a National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. And according to the National Eating Disorders Association, National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will fall on February 22nd, 2021 and end on February 28th, 2021. The American Psychiatric Association classifies five different types of eating disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition : Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder , Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder . Several decades of genetic research show that biological factors play a significant role in who develops an eating disorder. EDs commonly co-occur with other mental health conditions like major depression, anxiety, social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Ways To Raise Awareness Of Eating Disorders
At least 30 million people will have an eating disorder in their lifetime, and eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, according to data from ANAD. Given these facts, its important to raise awareness of these dangerous illnesses so that people know how to get help for themselves or loved ones.
In honor of the occasion, here are some ways you can raise awareness in your community about eating disorders.
Improve Your Own Understanding of Eating Disorders
Before you can educate others about eating disorders, you should take time to improve your own understanding. There are many free online resources, but be careful. Information that is not coming from a reputable organization could be inaccurate.
Beginning to understand these illnesses is a great first step in being able to advocate for those who do have eating disorders.
Spread Awareness on Social Media
Social media opens up many possibilities for raising awareness. You can quickly reach a large number of friends and family at once. You can even change the settings on posts to make them publicly visible. Here are some ideas for material to share:
- Informational videos
Write about Your Experiences
If you or a loved one has gone through an eating disorder, you can turn your experience into a powerful advocacy tool. There are many blogs about eating disorders and other mental illnesses that accept personal story submissions. You could even submit an opinion piece to a local newspaper.
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Eating Disorders Awareness Week Is One Of The Biggest Opportunities For Us To Put Eating Disorders In The Spotlight
Every year, you join us in your hundreds to campaign on behalf of those affected, raise funds to support Beats vital services, and bravely share your own experiences.
For Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021, we focused on raising awareness of binge eating disorder . BED is a serious mental illness where people eat large quantities of food over short periods of time, and often experience distressing feelings of being out of control. More people live with BED than with anorexia or bulimia, yet not many know the signs of BED or how to get help.
I am all for support for all eating disorders because I have struggled with them for a long time but seeing awareness for binge eating disorder is so important to me, especially in a society that judges you on your size.
EDAW 2021 was an enormous success here are just some of the highlights:
- 32 MPs signed our Early Day Motion, calling on the Government to ensure people with eating disorders get the treatment they need.
- Over 370 healthcare and education professionals attended our masterclasses on eating disorders.
- And you raised a record £73,724!
Watch our Helpline Advisor Tammy’s message to see the difference your fundraising makes to the people contacting our Helpline services.
Ensuring Eating Disorders Are Part Of The Conversation
1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts are estimating that number may be inching closer to 1 in 3. Ongoing research conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that, since the start of the pandemic, more than 20% of U.S. adults report experiencing high levels of psychological distress. These symptoms include anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, loneliness, as well as physical symptoms of distress.
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Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder , previously known as selective eating disorder, is a condition where people limit the amount or type of food eaten. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with ARFID do not have a distorted body image or extreme fear of gaining weight. ARFID is most common in middle childhood and usually has an earlier onset than other eating disorders. Many children go through phases of picky eating, but a child with ARFID does not eat enough calories to grow and develop properly, and an adult with ARFID does not eat enough calories to maintain basic body function.
- Dramatic restriction of types or amount of food eaten
- Lack of appetite or interest in food
- Dramatic weight loss
- Upset stomach, abdominal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues with no other known cause
- Limited range of preferred foods that becomes even more limited
Educate Yourself About Eating Disorders
Take time this month to learn about eating disorder types, symptoms, health consequences, and recovery. The more you know about these life-threatening illnesses, the better prepared you will be to help someone who is struggling. Visit our Education Center for free resources about each type of eating disorder.
Of course, National Eating Disorders Awareness Month isnt the only time to practice these activities. We should be advocating for awareness year-round.
If youre concerned that you or a loved one is having eating disorder symptoms, contact Seeds of Hope to make an appointment today. Take our confidential self-assessment, or contact us at .
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How To Observe #eatingdisordersawarenessweek
Encourage youth to eat healthily and to be active. Talk to your childs physician or another health provider if you notice signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. There are many other ways to participate:
- 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 Dont tease people about their weight. Dont talk negatively about other peoples bodies or your own.
What To Watch For:
- Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or finding wrappers and containers indicating the consumption of large amounts of food.
- Evidence of purging behaviors, including frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, signs and/or smells of vomiting, presence of wrappers or packages of laxatives or diuretics.
- Excessive, rigid exercise regimendespite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury, the compulsive need to burn off calories taken in.
- Unusual swelling of the cheeks or jaw area.
- Discoloration or staining of the teeth.
- Creation of lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge-and-purge sessions.
- Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.
- In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns.
- Continued exercise despite injury overuse injuries.
- Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.
- Feeling out of control over eating behavior during the episode.
- Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted by the behavior.
- There are also several behavioral indicators of BED including eating when not hungry, eating alone because of embarrassment over quantities consumed, eating until uncomfortably full.
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Taking A Look At The Statistics
- At least 30 million individuals of all ages and genders in the United States are diagnosed with an eating disorder, which is approximately 8% of the population, which equals out to 20 million women and 10 million men.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder
- Approximately 30% of individuals who engage in binge and purge behaviors also engage in self-harm behaviors such as cutting
- Approximately ever 60 seconds, an individual dies as a direct result of an eating disorder
- It is thought that ARFID may affect 3-5% of children
- 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
- Only one in 10 individuals with an eating disorder will receive treatment
- 13% of women over the age of 50 engage is some sort of eating disorder behavior
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
- Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States affecting 3.5% of women and 2% of men
- Approximately 50% of the risk for binge eating disorder is genetic
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder may be more common in boys than girls
- Approximately 10% of female college students suffer from a clinical eating disorder
What To Do If Youre Fighting An Eating Disorder
Battling an ED can be exhausting, frustrating, and stressful. However, its important you know youre not alone and getting help is possible. Were going to list a few steps we suggest taking along your journey, however, everyones recovery looks a little different and its important to involve a medical professional and counselor along the way.
- Dont beat yourself up or place self-blame: No one is at fault here, and the goal is recoverynot rumination.
- Build, and lean on, a supportive community: Its easy to believe the lie you can recover all on your own, but having a supportive community of loved ones and professionals is imperative to your recovery.
- Put yourself first: If certain situations, people, or environments cause triggering events/conversations, its important you prioritize your own health by avoiding them.
- Recognize and believe youre worth it: Recovery and treatment can be expensive and time consuming. However, your health and wellbeing are worth far more.
- Communicate: Talking about your illness can feel scary, but it helps those around you better understand your experience and allows you an outlet for release.
- Keep the hope: Recovery is a process, one that doesnt happen overnight. Finding little ways to build and maintain hope along the journey will keep your spirits high and remind you why youre fighting.
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What Are Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are a collection of psychiatric illnesses that also have severe physical impacts. Eating disorders often co-occur with other mental health conditions and have the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders both from the physical effects the various disorders have on the body and also from suicide.
While many people think of anorexia or bulimia when they think of an eating disorder, there are multiple types of disordered eating, and binge eating disorder is more than 3x more common than anorexia and bulimia combined.
While eating disorders are psychiatric disorders, they have a significant effect on the body since they directly impact the bodys absorption of nutrients. In addition to the mental impacts, the physical consequences can impact the entire body, including the heart, the kidney, the bones, and more. The severe health consequences can result in emergency room visits.
Because the conditions that cause an emergency room visit with eating disorders can appear to stem from different causes , an ER visit caused by an underlying eating disorder can be dangerous.
Recent studies conducted at the University of Michigan Health System have found that nearly 16% of emergency room patients of all age ranges showed indications of a previously undiagnosed eating disorder. It is estimated that only one-third of those with eating disorders will be diagnosed and receive treatment.
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.
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Signs A Loved One Is Fighting An Eating Disorder
Identifying an ED in a loved one can be hard, especially in todays fitness- and body-obsessed culture. Its also a topic that can feel too personal to breech. However, if youre concerned a loved one is battling an ED, its important to start a dialogue instead of ignoring the issue. Here are 7 signs a loved one is fighting an ED:
If you notice any of the following, start a conversation. Be open and honest but not accusatory. Take time to listen and offer support without acting as a therapist. Know your own limits and respect them.
For more tips on how to help a loved one, the ANAD has a greatDo + Dont graphic.
This February, join us in our fight to end eating disorders and bring healing and hope to those suffering. If you or a loved one needs individual care, wed love to discuss your options and help connect you with the proper solution.
From the entire New Life Team, we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.
How Can Center For Discovery Help You
Seeking professional treatment is the only way to overcome an eating disorder. Studies have shown that the majority of individuals with anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa do not seek treatment and therefore are at a higher risk for medical complications, suicide or co-occurring disorders. Additionally treatment and recovery for an eating disorder is generally lifelong, meaning that each day can be a battle but overtime this battle becomes easier when you gain the right coping skills and tools to help overcome your disease.
Center For Discovery can help provide that professional treatment for you and your loved ones. Whether its an intimate residential setting, or a focused day treatment program, Discovery has the tools, resources, and specialists to help with the road to recovery. Call us today at 855.820.3820, or contact us below so that we can help you get on your path to recovery today!
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Possible Symptoms Of Eating Disorders
The National Eating Disorders Association lists a series of possible symptoms related to eating disorders. Some physical manifestations of an eating disorder may include:
- Constantly feeling cold
- Issues with ones sleep
- Cuts and/or calluses across the top of finger joints, which could suggest inducing vomiting
- Noticeable fluctuations of weight
- Difficulties concentrating
- Dizziness, particularly when one stands up
- Menstrual irregularities, such as missed periods or only experiencing a period when on hormonal contraceptives
- Stomach cramps and other non-specific gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and acid reflux
- Muscle weakness
- Poor wound healing
- Abnormal laboratory results such as low hormone levels, anemia, low white and red blood cell counts, and low potassium
- Brittle nails
- Fine hair on ones body
- Yellow skin
- Swelling of feet
- Swelling around the salivary glands
- Discoloration of teeth and cavities, which may result from vomiting
- Cold, mottled hands
Common behavioral and emotional signs of eating disorders may include:
- A preoccupation with calories, food, weight, fat grams, carbohydrates, and dieting
- Recurrent dieting
- Appearing uncomfortable eating around other people
- Taking small portions of food at regular meals
- Behaviors and attitudes that point towards dieting, weight loss, and control of food becoming major concerns for an individual
- Extreme mood swings
Who Will You Be Inviting To Your Table
Maybe its someone whos stood by your side throughout your recovery, or maybe a friend that has a great relationship with food. Perhaps it is someone you are proud of or someone you are always learning from. NEDA encourages you this week to identify who is sitting at your table.
Visit for resources to help spread awareness and education this week!
In addition to NEDAs offerings, look out for other organizations and professionals offering special groups and events to honor NEDAW. Integrated Eating will be offering a complimentary Instagram Live virtual yoga class: Every Body Has a Seat on The Mat to honor NEDAWs theme this year. All bodies welcome!
Every Body Has a Seat on The Mat will be held on Thursday Feb 25th from 5:30-6:30pm EST on Instagram Live. Lets raise awareness and raise positive vibes! See for more information!
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