This is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Over 20 million women and 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. These are serious illnesses that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships. For many, these disorders can be life threatening, especially if left untreated.
If you know someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, consider the many ways you can be a support system as they get treatment and hopefully enter recovery. Yet even if this cause is not impacting you directly at the moment, it is vital that we continue to help by promoting a positive body image. As early as age 6 girls can begin to express concerns about their body. If that were not telling enough, 40-60% of elementary school aged girls report being concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat.
Here are some other ways that you can support eating disorder awareness:
I LOVE what The Elisa Project is doing by sharing the story of its namesake. Elisa McCall lost her struggle with an eating disorder at the age of 20. During the last six months of her life, she chronicled her battle with bulimia and depression in a personal journal, called Elisa’s Story. The cost is $10 per copy, which includes shipping and handling. You can purchase a copy via email.
Check out this fabulous bracelet from Bravelets that is made from stainless steel and leather that boldly says, “Be Brave.” It retails for $35, and for each bracelet purchased, $10 will be donated to organizations that fight eating disorders.
Music lovers can support the cause by purchasing this compilation album from CDBaby.com by MPress Records. This is the third in its series of annual indie compilations, featuring Glen Phillips, Jay Clifford, Swati and a dozen other rising artists. The album costs $10 and 100% of all proceeds from the sale of this album benefit the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).
Elizabeth Showers struggled with anorexia in her youth. Today she designs jewelry to “empower all women to feel beautiful.” Her “Hope Star Collection” A small portion of the proceeds from the sale of her Hope Star Necklace and earrings benefit The Elisa Project and NEDA.
Speaking of NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association is a non-profit organization that advocates to support individuals and families affected by eating disorders. They campaign for the prevention, treatment, and funding for research that will help to better understand and treat eating disorders. Another great organization, the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), promotes the acceptance of and respect for all people at their natural weight and diversity of sizes. BEDA aims for improved health for all, by building a community dedicated to helping those with binge eating disorder and associated weight stigma. You can donate to both of these organizations through their websites.
You can also support organizations such as NEDA and the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders (NAMED) via GoodShop. Simply choose the organization you want to support, start shopping at your favorites sites and a portion of your purchase (at no extra cost to you) is automatically sent to the organization.