Instagram photo by robinwerner.nutritionYou may have heard, it's National Eating Disorders Week #nedawareness
Spearheaded by The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the theme this year is "IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT IT." According to NEDA, "Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. No one knows exactly what causes eating disorders, but a growing consensus suggests that a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors come together to spark an eating disorder." National surveys estimate that "20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives." A very frightening statistic.
And, while a person may not have a full-blown ED, they may have sub-clinical eating disorders that involve seriously destructive eating and/or lifestyle habits.
NEDA would like people to start talking more openly about eating disorders not just to raise awareness, but so that they can be taken seriously as a public health concern. Hopefully, we can help those struggling to find a road to recovery, as well as prevent others from adapting disordered eating behaviors that can lead to a full-blown clinical ED.
As a Registered Dietitian, I would like to encourage the practice of self-love and body positivity. I want to promote "HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE." I always tell people that skinny is not synonymous with healthy. It is not realistic for everyone to be a size 6 or smaller. I'm certainly not discouraging anyone from losing weight, especially if it will decrease their risk of developing many chronic diseases. More importantly, I want people to develop a healthy relationship with food, and to learn how to be the healthiest they can be, regardless of one's size or what the number on the scale says.
So let's start talking about it. Let's raise awareness and destroy the stigma of eating disorders. And let's get those who need it the help they need. But most of all, we need to promote messages for having a healthy relationship with food, and for learning to have a positive body image.
And if you took the time to read this, I thank you ππ Robin xo