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Fight negative body images in February

When: Feb. 23

What: People are becoming aware of body image at an increasingly young age. They worry about how they look, what they weigh and what society thinks of their body. As a result, eating disorders are a very relevant issue, and are statistically considered one of the deadliest mental health illnesses. This year, promote awareness of eating disorders during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Background: According to the National Eating Disorder Association, there are multiple eating disorders of which to be aware. These include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating and obesity. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is designed to prevent eating disorders and poor body image issues while also improving treatment access and promoting early intervention. Eating disorders may be treated and prevented so long as awareness of these diseases exists.

Story Pitch: There are a number of companies and organizations that can make the most of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Dieticians and nutritionists may take this time to advertise services that help people lead healthier lifestyles. By educating patients on the dangers of eating disorders and what they can do to a person’s body, physicians and doctors can also take advantage of this event. This is an opportune time for pediatricians to focus on healthy weight and obesity with patients. Meanwhile, organizations, products and services targeting women should use this time to focus on positive body images. By promoting healthy food choices and exercise, restaurants, grocers and fitness centers are able to leverage the event as well.

Story Hook: According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, it is estimated that eating disorders affect over 11 million people in the United States. At least 10 to 15 percent of these people are male. Consider the following when making your pitch:

  • How can one promote healthy body image in young people?
  • What are some ways to increase eating disorder awareness amongst males?
  • What can be done to discourage the stigma that surrounds eating disorders?
  • What are some ways eating disorders can be prevented or treated?

Tips: A doctor or counselor who is familiar with eating disorders and the effect they have on a person would make a good source. In addition, someone who has successfully overcome an eating disorder would be a great person to discuss healthy body image, eating disorders and self-esteem.

Resources:

Academy for Eating Disorders
(847) 498-4274
info(at)aedweb.org
www.aedweb.org

Eating Disorders Anonymous
info(at)eatingdisordersanonymous.org
www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
(630) 577-1333
nnadhelp(at)anad.org
www.anad.org

National Eating Disorders Association
(212) 575-6200
info(at)nationaleatingdisorders.org
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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