February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month with a special celebration week from Feb. 25th through March 3rd. Eating disorders are not well understood and stigmatized since they are a mental health disorder, making diagnosis and treatment difficult. It is important to spread awareness of what eating disorders are and how to help those in need.
WHAT are eating disorders?
“Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.”-National Eating Disorders Association
WHY should we be worried about eating disorders?
- 35% of “occasional dieters” progress into pathological dieting, (disordered eating) and as many as 25%, advance to full-blown eating disorders [Source: Pathological dieting, precursor to eating disorder, Philadelphia Eating Disorder Examiner, Retrieved July18, 2011, from(www.examiner.com/eating-disorder-in-philadelphia/pathological-dieting-precursor-to-eating-disorders)]
- 75% of American women surveyed endorse unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food or their bodies. [Source: Three Out Of Four American Women Have Disordered Eating, Survey Suggests, Science News, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080422202514.htm)]
- Anorexia is the most lethal psychiatric disorder, carrying a sixfold increased risk of death — four times the death risk from major depression. [Source: Deadliest Psychiatric Disorder: Anorexia, WebMed, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (www.rxlist.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=146869)]
HOW can you make a difference?
Learn more about eating disorders at our upcoming events at Littleton Regional Healthcare:
Here are some other online resources:
- This tool can help determine if you or a loved one may need some professional help.
- For support, resources, and treatment options.
- Phone, messaging, or text options available.