Eating Disorder Awareness
Feb 1-7 is Eating Disorder Awareness week and with the prevalence of eating disorders being on the rise this conversation can't wait!
An Eating Disorder (ED) is a mental illness that include severe disturbances around eating behaviours and body image. An ED is not a phase, diet, or lifestyle. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and over one million Canadians suffer from an ED (1). It is also estimated that 10% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa will die within 10 years of the onset of the disorder (2) These are shocking statistic that should not be taken lightly which is why we want to raise awareness on the severity of Eating Disorders and how we can play a role in prevention.
Be part of the movement for preventing eating disorders by being a positive role mole in your community. First recognizing that health and wellbeing comes in all shapes and sizes, see people for who they are not their size. Compliment others on their personality traits rather than their appearance (ex: you are always so much fun to be around, you really know how to make people feel important). Avoid labelling food as good or bad, all foods fit into one's usual diet and food labeling can lead to food shaming, both leading to unhealthy relationships with food. And finally let’s be mindful on the way we see ourselves, criticize the culture that promotes diet culture and unhealthy body image instead of criticizing yourself or others.
If you want to learn more about EDs (including warning sizes, various types of ED,treatment centers ) Please check out NEDIC.ca or keltyeatingdisorders.ca
Canadian Mental Health Association (2019). 5 ways to take Action for Eating disorder Week retrieved from : https://cmha.ca/news/5-ways-to-take-action-for-eating-disorders-awareness-week
Sullivan, P. (2002). Course and outcome of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In Fairburn, C. G. & Brownell, K. D. (Eds.). Eating Disorders and Obesity (pp. 226-232). New York, New York: Guilford.)