This month, the National Eating Disorders Association, or NEDA, will be promoting National Eating
Disorders Awareness (NEDAwareness) 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.
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.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
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 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
Listen to Holly’s story about her battles with alcohol abuse, eating disorders and the treatment she received at Sovereign Health:
Blog Post By: Jared Friedman