In honor of NEDA's Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I thought it would be appropriate to address some myths pertaining to eating disorders.
5 Myths – Busted!
1. MYTH: Eating disorders are a lifestyle choice and are about vanity.
TRUTH: Eating disorders are serious illnesses that can be life-threatening. They are not a choice that a person makes. They are also not about vanity (or about food). The sufferer's preoccupation with weight and food are symptoms of the illness.
2. MYTH: Eating disorders only happen to young, white, females.
TRUTH: Eating disorders don't discriminate. They happen to both males and females, all genders and at all ages.
3. MYTH: Families (parents especially) are to blame for an eating disorder.
TRUTH: Nobody, especially not families, causes an eating disorder. It is an illness with very complex biological, psychological and sociological causes. Families are often an important part of the solution and recovery process.
4. MYTH: Dieting is a normal and healthy way to lose weight.
TRUTH: Dieting is the most common form of disordered eating. Studies show that adolescent girls who diet are 6-18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder within the next 6 months. Dieting is also the #1 predictor of future weight GAIN (not weight loss!).
5. MYTH: You can tell by looking at someone whether or not they have an eating disorder.
TRUTH: It is impossible to tell by looking at someone whether or not they have an eating disorder. The vast majority of those with eating disorders show no physical signs.
If you or someone you know are suffering from disordered eating or an eating disorder, know that you are not alone. Help is available. Go to NEDA.org for more information on eating disorders, treatment and Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
+ view comments . . .