Starting yesterday, Feb. 24, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2013 began, with the theme "Everybody Knows Somebody." This theme resonates particularly because eating disorders are often considered to be so rare, but yet rates are increasing as are the numbers of affected individuals diagnosed with eating disorders or disordered eating.
Consequently, the necessity for heightened awareness is crucial to both understanding and helping those who suffer as well as providing leverage for insurance companies to cover care and government agencies to recognize the importance of funding research. However, the question remains how to help this cause.
- Share a Stat: Share one of the ten eating disorders statistics NEDA has compiled on Facebook or Twitter to debunk myths and and pass along the knowledge that eating disorders are serious diseases that can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity.
- Make it Count: Use NEDA's interactive "Make it Count" map to show where you are making a difference for eating disorders awareness. Then, join the Twitter conversation below the map to continue spreading awareness.
- Snap a Pic: Do something this week to raise awareness about eating disorders: post a flyer with a statistic; circulate resources for eating disorders in your workplace or school; or show a screening of a documentary about eating disorders, like America the Beautiful or Thin. Then take a picture of your outreach and post it to Facebook or Twitter with the #NEDAwareness hashtag.
- Get Connected: Like the AED's Facebook page and share with your friends! They provide a breadth of pertinent information from popular news articles to current research studies about eating disorders. Also be sure to follow them on Twitter to get up-to-date notices and take part in current discussions with experts in the field.
All of these are great ways to both get involved and become an agent of change starting this week. Eating disorders are life-threatening conditions and our awareness is a piece of the puzzle in helping to restructure the way these disorders are perceived, prevented, researched, and treated. Our magnitude can be great when we unite around this objective and become a storm instead of separate drops of rain.