National Eating Disorder Awareness Week : Parent and Teen Connection

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

February 24, 20140 Comments

measuring-tape-1192445-mToday marks the start of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, a problem thousands of teens struggle with year after year. While eating disorders are hardly confined to the teen population, they certainly have a strong foothold within this group, and being aware of the signs and symptoms is the single best thing you can do to help protect your teen.

5 Facts To Remember During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Advocates are currently marking the 14th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week to highlight the psychological and physical toll stemming from the disease. This year’s event, which stretches on until March 1, is focused on reaching the families and communities that may fail to realize how disordered eating is impacting the people they know and love. “Everybody knows somebody with an eating disorder,” the promotional materials for the awareness campaign point out. Here are five facts to keep in mind about the devastating impact of this issue:

1. Thirty million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.

According to the National Eating Disorder Association, an estimated 20 million U.S. women and an additional 10 million U.S. men will struggle with a “clinically significant” eating disorder at some point in their life. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or what’s defined as an “other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED). Although many Americans incorrectly assume that it’s easy to spot an eating disorder, the people who struggle with this condition can actually come in all types of shapes and sizes, and are typically adept at hiding their symptoms.

2. Anorexia is the most fatal mental health issue.

One out of every five people with anorexia eventually dies from causes related to the disease. The rates of suicide among people who suffer from eating disorders are higher than the rates among other psychiatric disorders, largely because anorexia is often accompanied by depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. A 2003 study found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to take their own lives than people who don’t suffer from an eating disorder.

3. Disordered eating is on the rise among children.

Disordered eating is an issue that tends to manifests itself in children and young adults. A full 95 percent of the Americans who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25, and the majority of those people report that their unhealthy relationship with food began before they turned 20. Perhaps partly because of the unrealistic body images that are persistently marketed toward kids, this issue is getting worse. According to a recent study, hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 years old increased by a staggering 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. Eighty percent of U.S. girls say they’ve been on a diet.

Read more at ThinkProgress.org.

As a parent, simply being aware of your teen’s eating habits is a great first step toward monitoring for this behavior. We’ll work to bring you relevant posts throughout the week to help you work to end this problem in your corner of the world.

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week


Article: National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Author: Tara Culp-Ressler

Source: ThinkProgress.org


Filed in: Parenting TeenagersTeenage Problems
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