This year National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week took place the dates of February 26-March 3, 2012. Even though this technically ended yesterday, I chose to wait and post this article because I believe the message should be spread continuously, each and every day.
You may already be familiar with some of the medically recognized eating disorders, such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, EDNOS(Eating Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified) and Binge Eating Disorder(BED). However, there are many other forms that get less attention. These include Compulsive Over-Eating(COE), Orthorexia, Over-Exercising, and Night Eating. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders(ANAD), up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from either Anorexia, Bulimia or BED in the United States. With such a large amount of people suffering, there is the delusion that these are not disorders but a typical way of life. In fact, NEDA chose it's theme this year to be, "Everybody Knows Somebody".
I once heard a moving sermon where the pastor stated, "just because [eating disorders] have become common does not mean they are now normal. If your entire neighborhood had the flu, would that mean it's normal? No, it would be an epidemic."
Your eating habits should not be contributing to the battle with, and within, yourself.
Although both females and males are susceptible to eating disorders, they are most prevalent among women. As actress Kate Beckinsale explained, "I always felt that anorexia was the form of breakdown most readily available to adolescent girls." Below are some more startling statistics reported by ANAD regarding eating disorders in young women and girls:
- 91% of women on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted "often" or "always".
- 86% report onset of eating disorders by age 20; 43% report onset between ages of 16-20.
- 1 out of 4 college-aged students engage in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique.
- Over half of teenage girls use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives.
- 44% of female students on a college campus that dieted to lose weight were already at a normal healthy weight
- 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder,
Visit the websites below
or e-mail the ANAD helpline by clicking here
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