Eating disorders have been a prevalent problem in America for decades. In fact, about 20 million women and 10 million men experience eating disorders at some point in their lifetime. That is why so many organizations across the country come together to improve education and increase advocacy for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. With eating disorders categorized as a behavioral and mental illness, it is important, now more than ever, to discuss the significance of total body wellness. Although people may not initially be perceived as someone who suffers from an eating disorder, a person’s health should not always be determined from how they look but in most cases how they feel both physically and mentally. Keep reading to learn more about #NEDA awareness!

History and Organizations 

On March 2nd of 2018, the United States Senate officially marked February 26th through March 4th as ‘National Eating Disorder Awareness Week’. Before this historical turning point, however, the weeklong observance had already been held for many years and was headed by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Founded in 2001, with the merging of  Eating Disorders Awareness & Prevention (EDAP) and American Anorexia Bulimia Association (AABA), NEDA has been an unwavering advocate for creating awareness, inspiring conversation and providing support for those affected by eating disorders. As the largest nonprofit organization, their mission is “to support the millions of families whose loved ones are battling eating disorders by offering the latest information, resources, action-oriented advocacy and media campaigns to educate the public and policymakers, but most importantly, giving a sense of community to people often feeling alone and overwhelmed in their struggle to access quality, affordable care” – Lynn Grefe, CEO of NEDA. 

Everybody Has A Seat At The Table

This year’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will be observed from February 22-28, with the campaign of “Everybody Has A Seat At The Table”. This campaign was created specifically to build a space in the field where marginalized communities are often underrepresented. With the goal of allowing everyone from every background or experience to be included in the conversation, NEDA aims to help the public overcome the specific challenges of facing isolated beauty standards and precedented social stigmas. You can support this weeklong event by sharing #NEDAawareness on social media or checking out these shareable brochures, infographics, blogs and videos! 

Although many people today currently suffer from eating disorders, with continued efforts to raise awareness, we can create a society that can not only learn to better embrace and support those affected by eating disorders, but that can also even potentially prevent them from occurring in the first place. Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will take a look at how to do just that. Lastly, if you or a loved one suffers from an eating disorder, remember that you are not alone and that recovery is possible. Please check out the resources we have included below.