National Eating Disorders Association

On September 21, NEDA asked Twitter to respond to the question “Does your school have eating disorder resources?” After collecting responses from 405 people, the results showed that the schools of nearly half of these respondents (46%) had no resources in place. The rest of the results were as follows: 14% said “Yes,” 17% said “Very few,” and 23% said “Not sure.”  

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Going back to school can be filled with anxieties. For young adults, anxiety is common as they ready themselves to beginning a new chapter in their lives at a university. However, these concerns double for people with eating disorders because not only are they now faced with changes in their mealtime routines and times that they would go see their treatment team, but going away to school is a major transition. Students with eating disorders may try hard to get the perfect grades and put extra pressures on themselves, unleashing unwanted eating disordered behaviors.

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When our daughter developed an eating disorder at 15, her educational trajectory was suddenly no longer predictable or inevitable.  She stopped completing assignments, and often lay in bed refusing to go to school.  In one year’s time she went from being a straight-A student playing two varsity sports to a student with 21 absences and two incompletes in her 10th grade year.  In addition to making important decisions about our daughter’s health care, we had to rethink her education.

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Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

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Struggling from an eating disorder is difficult enough without the stigma that it is a feminine disease. Being a male in the world of ED is difficult in different ways; from diagnosis to treatment. Before DSM-V, one of the ‘requirements’ of being diagnosed with anorexia was the absence of your menstrual period. This ‘requirement’ in itself was sexist and fell into the feminine stigma of EDs.

Today we are working on breaking the old view of eating disorders and having people understand the true nature of these diseases. 

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This week, Time published an online article entitled in its “Ideas” section, “My Mother Told Me I Was Fat, and It Was the Best Thing Ever” in which author Charlotte Alter recounts a conversation her mom had with her at the age of twelve about losing weight.

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Reprinted, with permission, from Judy Avrin of Someday Melissa. Originally posted January 9, 2014

It is with great peace that I share the news that the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is now the exclusive distributor of Someday Melissa.

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The phrase, “Needs Improvement” seems like a fair way to assess the spelling or cursive handwriting skills of an elementary school student. But the body composition of an adolescent child? Perhaps not.

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Last night, Taryn O’Brien, the manager of NEDA’s STAR Program and first Federal Lobby Day, carefully planned the short walk 301 advocates would take from the Hyatt hotel to the Capitol building. This morning, she woke up to rain.

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“I’m Beautiful the Way I Am.” That’s the message at the center of a public education campaign launched by the city of New York this week. The #ImAGirl campaign features NYC girls—not professional models—in a PSA as well as print ads that will appear on subways, buses and kiosks throughout the city.

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