National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 26 to March 3, 2012, and is a project of the National Eating Disorders Association.  The goal of the week is to promote public and media attention to the seriousness of eating disorders and their biological as well as environmental triggers, and to try to combat the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that can contribute to them.

While the topic of eating disorders can be a difficult one to address, it is important to be aware of how common and potentially dangerous these disorders are.

  • It is estimated that more than 10 million American women are fighting anorexia or bulimia along with 1 million men.  15 million more are struggling with binge eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • In one person’s lifetime, at least 50,000 individuals will die as a direct result of an eating disorder.
  • Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents.
  • A number of studies conducted since 2000 indicate that the incidence of eating disorders among males is increasing.
  • In children under the age of 12, hospitalizations for an eating disorder rose 119% from 1999 to 2006.

For information on National Eating Disorders Awareness Week or for additional resources related to eating disorders, please go to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org or contact the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1.800.931.2237.

**The above statistics can be accessed on the websites of the National Eating Disorders Association, the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders, and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.