This month, the National Eating Disorders Association, or NEDA, will be promoting National Eating Disorders Awareness week from February 24th to March 3rd. NEDAwareness Week is a collective effort of primary volunteers, including eating disorder professionals, health care providers, students, educators, social workers, and individuals committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the need for early intervention and treatment. Sovereign Health believes that events like NEDAwareness are extremely important and has used this week to spearhead many important aspects of Sovereign’s treatment and care of patients with Eating Disorders.
At Sovereign, we are working to not only increase awareness of eating disorders in the community, but are also trying to expand the definition of what an eating disorder is. With our treatment of those who have struggled with eating too much, as in our Change for Life program, we are trying to demonstrate that eating disorders are not simply about those who are too thin. By ensuring that we test each and every patient, we are showing that eating disorders are driven as much by emotions as by eating. This year, the theme for NEDAwareness will be “Everybody knows Somebody,” to highlight how prevalent Eating Disorders have become in our societies. To pick up on this idea, we decided to provide you with some numbers, courtesy of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), and some of our thoughts on those numbers.
Eating Disorder Education
According to NIMH, in 2007 the number of people in the US who would experience either Anoreixa, Bulimia or Binge Eating Disorder (BED), the “Big Three” of eating disorders, was roughly 4% of the population, or about 14 million people. One can only guess that this number has only increased in the years since this study. Even if someone isn’t suffering from BED specifically, America’s obesity rate has risen dramatically in recent years and many say that roughly two-thirds of the population is obese.
These numbers clearly demonstrate that this isn’t a problem for a small minority of the population, this is a problems that affects us all, as a community, friends and family. The other aspect of NEDAwareness is that not only do we all know someone, but we all can help as well. Whether it’s listening to a friend who needs to talk, pushing a family member to get or serving the community as a treatment facility or program, we can all play our part. Though it sometimes feels as if we face a helpless problem, it’s impossible to weigh the impact that just one individual, or just one conversation can have. At Sovereign Health Group we gladly embrace NEDAwareness week as a means to not only increase awareness about the threat of eating disorders, but to help us wake up and realize that each of us, whether we’re a treatment center or a single friend can help stem the tide of eating disorders and the suffering that they often cause.