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  • Elissa Strassman

Raising Awareness to Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Monday, February 22, 2021- Sunday February 28, 2021.


This important time is dedicated to raising awareness, reducing stigma, and providing hope and resources for recovery for people struggling with an eating disorder, and those supporting someone who may have one.


The National Eating Disorders Association’s theme this year is “Every Body has a Seat at the Table”, bringing to light the fact that anyone can develop an eating disorder.


Why is this important to know?

Because, anyone can be affected by an eating disorder.


Eating disorders can affect all genders, all ages, all ethnicities, all races, all socioeconomic groups, all identities, all physical abilities, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people of all shapes, weights, and sizes.


In fact, 28.8 million Americans will have a clinical eating disorder at some point in their life, yet only 1/10 people will ever receive professional treatment.


Just what is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a complex illness where people have extreme disturbances in their eating behavior. They may eat too little for what their body needs, they may eat too much to the point of discomfort and experience emotional distress. Some people may have extreme fear or anxiety around food, or specific foods, or strong thoughts and emotions related to their body weight, size or shape. An eating disorder can have serious implications on someone’s overall wellbeing and health.


How do I know if I have an eating disorder?

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders(ANAD) suggests asking yourself, “How much time do I spend thinking about food, weight, and body image?” Does this preoccupy most of your time? Does this interfere with your day to day life, or, your quality of life? If you answered yes, it may be time to reach out.


Still not sure?


The National Eating Disorders Association offers a screening tool on their website, which may be able to provide you with a little more insight. You can find that here.



Where else can I go for more information or for help?

The National Eating Disorders Association and The Alliance for Eating Disorders Association, are two great places to start.


They offer more information on Eating Disorders, toolkits for parents, teachers, and coaches, and those in supportive roles. They also have tools to help you find treatment too.


Also, don’t forget I am here for you too. Please feel free to reach out to me, I would be happy to help support you.