Eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices, and affect men and women across all racial, economic, and educational boundaries. Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, biological and social factors. Look at the state of the world we live in today! A study found that adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents. Because we live in a culture that emphasizes an unrealistic ideal for most people, many try to fight our natural size and shape determined by genetics, through unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and decreased self-esteem, which fosters the beginning of disordered eating.
In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Approximately 15 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder. Eating disorders rank among the 10 leading causes of disability among young women [Mathers et al., 2000] Eating disorders do not affect women exclusively. Men also suffer from eating disorders. Incidence of eating disorders has increased over the last 30 to 40 years [Academy of Eating Disorders, 2007] Not only are they becoming more predominant, but they are deadly diseases. Anorexia nervosa has one of the highest mortality rates of any psychological illness. Estimates range from 5% to 20%. [Birmingham et al., 2005]
Eating disorders have a profoundly negative impact on an individual's quality of life, wrecking self-image, interpersonal relationships, financial status, and job performance. While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, there is help available Recovery is possible. NEDA has information and resources available via their website and helpline:Helpline: 800 931-2237
Spread the awareness about eating disorders. Join the event on Facebook! If you are on twitter, Marci Anderson, a RD who specializes in eating disorders will be hosting a twitterchat on February 23rd at 8:30pm EST with the hashtag #endED Join in!
So this week let’s take some extra time to remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. You are more than the number on the scale. Celebrate your inner beauty, strength, and spirit! Live Guiltlessly!
Tell me one thing you love about yourself today!