Little Willow [userpic]

Eating Disorder Awareness

February 22nd, 2009 (09:22 am)
awake

Current Mood: awake
Current Song: This Time by Chantal Kreviazuk

From Cigna -

The National Eating Disorder Association has named February as National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Approximately 25 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder (NEDA, 2005). This is a disorder with life and death consequences.

Below are some of the symptoms of Eating Disorders identified by the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV-TR):
* A person who refuses to maintain body weight that is at or above the normal weight for the age and height of the individual. This would be measured by weight loss leading to the maintenance of body weight less than 85% of the expected weight gain during the period of growth.
* The person shows an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even if the person is under weight.
* The person has a distorted outlook on their body image.

If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, please acknowledge them, confide in someone, and start striving for your best self and your best health. There are many people out there who will help you. If you are a teenager, please tell your parents or other adults that you trust. No matter where you are or how old you are, you may call the NEDA Toll-Free Information and Referral Helpline: (800) 931-2237

Book Recommendations

Sometimes, it's easier to read about something than talk about it. I highly recommend the following fictional stories that deal in part with eating disorders:

On Pointe by Lorie Ann Grover (ballerina protagonist struggles with body image and weight)
Nothing by Robin Friedman (protagonist binges and purges in secret)
Purge by Sarah Darer Littman (protagonist is put in treatment for her bulimia; the book is being released in April 2009)
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr (protagonist binges when stressed; secondary plot, not the main plotline)
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (the protagonist's older sister refuses to admit she has an eating disorder; secondary plot, not the main plotline)

For more books about these and other serious matters, visit my Tough Issues for Teens booklist.

I also posted about this matter and reviewed some of these titles over at the SparkLife book blog.

Additional Links

In February 2008, Lorie Ann Grover started a thread at the readergirlz forum about National Eating Disorder Month in hopes that others will share their thoughts and stories. Join us at the readergirlz forum.

Thanks to E. Lockhart for picking up this post.


Contact The National Eating Disorder Association:
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
603 Stewart St.
Suite 803
Seattle, WA 98101
Business Office: (206) 382-3587
Toll-Free Helpline: (800) 931-2237
info@NationalEatingDisorders.org

Comments

Posted by: faith (niamhaevalnimue)
Posted at: February 8th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)

Thank you for addressing this issue. So often it goes overlooked and the person who is suffering gets either blamed for the condition or praised for being "so thin." Thank you.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 8th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)

You are welcome. There are so many levels of disorder when it comes to eating that people are unaware of yet engage in regularly.

Posted by: jessicaburkhart (jessicaburkhart)
Posted at: February 8th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)

Good post, LW. Definitely something we all need to be aware of.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 8th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)

Thanks, Jessica.

Posted by: georgiabean (georgiabean)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)

Thanks for posting this :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)

You're welcome.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)

Its me... Gypsy btw :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)

Hi!

Posted by: Sarah Darer Littman (saraclaradara)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC)

thanks for posting about this LW. As you know, it's a subject to which I bring a great deal of passion.

Next year, hopefully you can add PURGE to your list. Just turned in my revision yesterday, and saw the draft cover this week. Exciting! Will make sure you are on the ARC list when the time comes.

Posted by: Sarah Darer Littman (saraclaradara)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
also

Robin Friedman has a book coming out from Flux shortly called NOTHING about a male bulimic.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
Re: also

Nod nod - I saw the NOTHING cover recently and added it to my to-read list.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 9th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)

Of course.

Congrats!

Thank you in advance!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: December 6th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)

An underweight BMI is required only for an anorexia diagnosis, and I think there is enough of a popular misconception that only skinny people have eating disorders - I know you say "some of the symptoms" but it would be great if you would either label that as "signs of anorexia" or add some of the warning signs for other eating disorders (you mention bulimia and BED yourself; there is also eating disorder not otherwise specified, which is actually by far the most common diagnosis though most people haven't heard of it).

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 8th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)

Please note that the portion of this post in italics - the part to which you referred - is from Cigna, The National Eating Disorder Association, and the APA, not from me.

Posted by: thebookreader-thebookreader.blogspot.com (thebookreader-thebookreader.blogspot.com)
Posted at: February 22nd, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)

What a great post. More people should be aware of eating disorders.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: February 23rd, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)

Thanks for reading it.

16 Read Comments