National Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Why We Need It

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Get tips about eating healthy in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and why it matters to youBy Deborah Goldstein
When fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld recently called pop singer Adele “a little too fat,” most women breathed a collective sigh of relief when she responded, “I’ve never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.”

For every Adele, however, it seems there are a million unhealthy body image messages weighing us down. In fact, Tumblr just issued a ban on their site of all “Thinspo” (short for “thinsperation”) blogs, calling them content that “actively promotes self-harm.” The Thinspo blogs were popular with teen girls, who typically posted unrealistic, dangerous goal weights and photos of bony models to aspire to.

As many as 10 million American women and girls–plus one million men and boys–suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more suffer from binge eating disorders, says the National Eating Disorders Association. Incredibly, more people die from eating disorders than any other type of mental illness.

The NEDA kicks off the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week to bring attention to and reduce the stigma of eating disorders and unhealthy body image issues, while supporting those affected by them.

Find a list of events in your community that you can volunteer for or attend, from documentary screenings to presentations to charity walks and more. For information about eating disorders, or to seek help for yourself or someone else, visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.

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Carol Endler Sterbenz is a well-known author, editor, and media personality. She has written more than twenty-five craft and decorating books including Pottery Barn Design Library: Storage and Display, American Country Folk Crafts, and the Instant Gratification series (Chronicle Books). A former syndicated columnist of By Hand and Primary Colors: Interiors, Ms. Sterbenz was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly magazine Handcraft Illustrated. She lives with her husband, John, in Westchester County in NY.

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When fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld recently called pop singer Adele “a little too fat,” most women breathed a collective sigh of relief when she responded, “I've never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I'm very proud of that."

For every Adele, however, it seems there are a million unhealthy body image messages weighing us down. In fact, Tumblr just issued a ban on their site of all “Thinspo” (short for “thinsperation”) blogs, calling them content that “actively promotes self-harm.” The Thinspo blogs were popular with teen girls, who typically posted unrealistic, dangerous goal weights and photos of bony models to aspire to.

As many as 10 million American women and girls–plus one million men and boys–suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Millions more suffer from binge eating disorders, says the National Eating Disorders Association. Incredibly, more people die from eating disorders than any other type of mental illness.

The NEDA kicks off the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week to bring attention to and reduce the stigma of eating disorders and unhealthy body image issues, while supporting those affected by them.

Find a list of events in your community that you can volunteer for or attend, from documentary screenings to presentations to charity walks and more. For information about eating disorders, or to seek help for yourself or someone else, visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.
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