Eating Disorder Myths

National Eating Disorders Awareness WeekI would be able to tell if I knew someone with an eating disorder, right?

Maybe not.

What do you think a person who has an eating disorder looks like? When I ask people this question, most people have an image of a thin teenage girl. She is white, from a wealthy family, gets good grades, and dances ballet. We see this image in TV shows, movies, and magazines, but I am writing today to dispel this stereotype. The truth is, eating disorders affect all kinds of people: girls and boys (more on this tomorrow), young and old, rich and poor, thin and heavy, and from all different racial/ethnic groups. Check out “Common Myths About Eating Disorders(number 3 on the list) to learn more.

Although eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are fairly uncommon, they still affect an estimated 10 million Americans.  If we define eating disorders more broadly to include all people who have an unhealthy relationship with food or have terrible body image, the problem becomes almost too big to count. Chances are, there are people you know who are struggling with eating or body image problems. The good news is that what you say and how you act can have a positive impact on others around you… even if you don’t know they are struggling. We can all make a difference. Everyone can do just one thing. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness week, I will choose to be a model of self acceptance… to fuel my body and appreciate everything it does for me. Join me, for this week… and the rest of the year!

-Nutritionist Kendrin