Eating disorders awareness week
Eating disorders are not primarily about food or weight and can affect people of all shapes, sizes, colours, ages and sexualities. They are about a person’s sense of who they are.
This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and marking this our partner Bodywhys is running a number of information and fundraising events around the country.
They have also just launched an exciting and innovative online programme and are looking for participants. It’s aimed at men and women aged 18 years or older who want to learn more about self-esteem, body image and the media. Click here for more details.
In the media
Despite the increased awareness-raising in the media, obsession with celebrity weight and body image can be quite damaging.
B-eat, the UK eating disorder charity, reports that it is being contacted more and more by people reacting to images in the media.
Bodywhys have created media guidelines about the reporting of eating disorders. They state:
“While we appreciate the need to draw readers to a story, the use of scare tactics and sensational headlines in the discussion of eating disorders is unhelpful, as it creates an atmosphere of fear around the long term health implications, while at the same time trivialising the experiences of those affected by eating disorders.”
For someone with an eating disorder, controlling food and their body is their way of relieving distress and achieving some degree of control over their life. Understanding that this is a person’s coping mechanism helps those close to someone experiencing an eating disorder to realise how frightening and difficult it is for the person to let it go as they recover.
Find out more about eating disorders.