National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Xitlali Martinez, Staff Writer

Eating disorders are often swept under the rug and not prioritized as much as they should be because in reality they are serious life-threatening illnesses that affect all kinds of people. Eating disorders are very misunderstood and neglected and have limited support resources, leaving people helpless and afraid. National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), and this year it will be February 25th through March 3rd 2020. The goal of this is to reflect on the positive steps of the recovery process and how you’ve accepted yourself and others.  It’s designed to help raise awareness and offer different forms of support so people can get the help they need.

There are various types of eating disorders that afflict millions of people but the most common are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. The exact cause for eating disorders is unknown as there are many factors to take into consideration such as genetics and biology vs psychological and emotional health. People who have parents or siblings who’ve had an eating disorder are a lot more likely to develop one themselves. Other mental health disorders often go hand in hand with eating disorders and often lead to an even more serious problem.

The goal behind NEDA is to help remind you that you are valid and that your struggles are real and that you’re not alone. According to NEDA in the US alone over 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, size, or background. Chances are someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder. When the problem becomes too big for you to overcome by yourself and you’re unsure if you have an ED or not it’s best to seek medical help. Many people refuse treatment because they don’t believe they need it, this is why it’s good to check up on those around you. If you are concerned for a loved one you want to express that concern to them and let them know you care by listening and offering solutions such as seeking treatment.