Although “eating” is in the name, eating disorders are about more than just food.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are mental health conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbances in eating behaviors that are associated with distressing thoughts, emotions, and mood. Eating disorders are often linked to underlying mental illness, creating a complex condition that is often life-threatening. As a center for eating disorder treatment in Philadelphia, we’re sharing more on National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and ways you can participate and help encourage those with these disorders.
What Is Eating Disorder Awareness Week?
Also known as NEDA Week or ED Awareness Week, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2022 is from February 22nd through February 28th. NEDA Week is an annual campaign designed to educate the public about the realities and hardships of eating disorders as well as to provide hope, guidance, and support to both those who have these disorders and also their loved ones.
Oftentimes, people don’t get the treatment they need because they’re either too afraid to ask for help, don't know how to get help, or don’t realize the severity of their disorder. The 2022 theme for national eating disorder week is See the Change, Be the Change, presenting the opportunity for communities to “see the change” by recognizing change within the continuously-evolving eating disorder field and to “be the change” through advocacy, awareness, support, and community involvement.
Ways to Participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
For over 20 years, body image and Eating Disorder Awareness Week have encouraged the public to recognize change within the eating disorder field and to advocate for and spread awareness concerning the importance of professional eating disorder support. Whether you or someone you know has an eating disorder, or you simply want to show your support for those with conditions like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, below are a few ways you can observe National Eating Disorder Awareness Week in 2022:
- Share your experiences (if you have any) with eating disorders, so others may benefit from what you’ve learned.
- Share why or why you aren’t aware of eating disorders and ways you’ve educated yourself about these conditions.
- Intervene whenever you see bullying in action (such as name-calling or body-shaming.)
- Encourage and compliment others based on their character and behaviors rather than their appearance.
- Avoid using hurtful language and phrases like “skinny,” “fat,” “chubby,” and “scrawny.”
- Support the promotion of positive body image by encouraging those who exhibit signs of body dysmorphia or poor body image (you can say things like, “You’re beautiful [or handsome] just the way you are.”)
You can also show your support on NEDA Week by posting on social media with hashtags like #NEDAwareness and #SeeTheChangeBeTheChange. Set a good example, don’t tease or bully people about their appearance, and stay up-to-date with the latest changes in the eating disorder field.
Our Center for Eating Disorders in Philly
Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that can have serious psychological and physical repercussions. Considering that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental disorders, it’s imperative that those who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder find professional care right away.
At Banyan Treatment Center Philadelphia, we offer various eating disorder programs to help people with conditions like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, ARFID, and more, gradually recover their health and develop the skills necessary to manage their symptoms. If you or someone you care about has an eating disorder, get help before it’s too late.
Related Reading: Are Eating Disorders Genetic? Celebrities with Eating Disorders