As we are quickly approaching the final week of February, it’s important that we recognize that Feb 27th to March 5th is National Eating Disorders Association Week. The ultimate goal of NEDA is to promote awareness of eating disorders and demonstrate to those in recovery that they’re not alone.
It is estimated that close to 28 million Americans will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating disorders affect Americans of all ages, backgrounds, genders, body shapes, and weights. This illness most often appears during the teen years or as young adults, but in recent years there has been an increase in cases among children and older adults.
Types of eating disorders
Eating disorders are serious illnesses that are associated with disruptions in people’s eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. Preoccupations with food, body, weight and shape may be signs of an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
Risk factors of eating disorders
Risk factors for eating disorders can include various biological, psychological, social, and environmental factors. Some of the most common risk factors include:
*Appearance ideal internalization
*Limited social networks
*Having a close relative with an eating disorder
*Sexual trauma in childhood
Where to get help?
Eating disorders are medical conditions that should be treated by a diverse care team that may include health providers, nutritionists, psychologists, dentists, occupational therapists and any healthcare provider. Each individual is unique, and their recovery plan should be tailored to address their specific needs.
Having a supportive personal and professional network surrounding an individual living with an eating disorder is critical to creating a healthy space for individual to heal and recover.
Lastly, the National Eating Disorder Association(NEDA) has a free helpline available for anyone looking for any assistance. If you or someone you know is looking for help, you can call 1 800 931 2237.
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