It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and major events are happening in cities and towns across the nation. Speakers, walks, and other large-scale activities are great for raising awareness and garnering support. You may be thinking that you want to host an event but aren’t sure where to begin. The good news is that an event of any size can make a large impact in your community! Organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) make it easy to plan an awareness activity. Read on for some tips that will help you participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Awareness Activities Building a Recovery Village in Your Community
Looking out on a sea of about 200 faces at the Baltimore National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Walk on October 11th, it was clear just how much community means in the fight against eating disorders. Participants gathered in a small town square in a suburb of Baltimore, and they ranged from suffering to recovered, mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and friends. All came to walk for something that gives them hope, and all were walking for someone they know who fell prey to an eating disorder. As the program began and the speakers, three young women in recovery, took the stage to share their stories, tears began to fall on the faces in the crowd. Recovery is possible, was the overwhelming message. The women standing here speaking are living proof of that fact. Continue reading
The ratio of female to male eating disorders suggest that women and girls are more affected than men: according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the female to male ratio for anorexia is 10:1; for bulimia, 10:1; and 2:1 for binge eating disorder. Although eating disorders in females and males are clinically similar, it is feared that the true statistics related to males are not fully known due to underreporting of symptoms and stigma.
Risk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction
Different people have bodies of different shapes and sizes. Despite the diversity of body shapes, many men and women wish that their body looked different. This phenomenon is known as body dissatisfaction or negative body image and is all too common. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) defines negative body image as “A distorted perception of your shape—you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are” and also adds that those with negative body image see themselves as unattractive and feel self-conscious and awkward in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013). In contrast, those with positive body image see a true representation of themselves, and are also able to disconnect their self-worth from their body shape, accept their body as unique and feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies (NEDA, 2013).