February 24-March 1, 2008 marks the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (NEDAW).
Eating Disorders are illnesses that are still largely untouched as far as being under-reported, under-researched and under-funded for treatment facilities. Eating disorders are life-threatening, and it is estimated that as many as 10 million females have an eating disorder, which include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and EDNOS ("eating disorder not otherwise specified").
Eating disorders are much more than about food and dieting; they are physical and psychological illnesses with social and cultural factors. The NEDAW is in it's 20th year, with a goal of bringing awareness and information to the forefront. At the University I used to work at, we held a NEDAW event every year, where college women would give us their "skinny jeans", as a symbol of them being comfortable in their real genes (jeans), and in return, they would receive a NEDAW T-shirt. The skinny jeans were donated to charity. This event received a great turnout, and women (and men!) were able to talk about eating disorders, body image, and their struggles with food and weight.
We would love to hear from you, if you've also experienced significant struggles with food and weight, or have been diagnosed with an eating disorder.
The National Eating Disorders Association (www.nationaleatingdisorders.org)
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