Today, June 2, 2016, is the first ever World Eating Disorders Action Day. Today eating disorder activists, professionals, parents and family members, and those personally affected from 40+ countries across the globe unite to promote worldwide knowledge of eating disorders and the need for comprehensive treatment.
The Big Picture
Eating disorders affect 70 million individuals worldwide and up to 30 million individuals in the United States alone. This insidious, life-threatening illness affects people of all ages — diagnosis occurs in children as young as six years old and in elderly men and women. We know now that eating disorders occur in both genders and do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. They affect people of all shapes & sizes. And eating disorders occur at similar rates across nationalities & ethnicities and at all levels of socioeconomic status. Not one of us is safe. Not one.
Eating disorders are misunderstood, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. Despite the toll eating disorders have taken on individuals and families worldwide and the increasing number of diagnoses and deaths each day, efforts to combat this illness are grossly under-supported and under-funded.
It’s time to take action.
We join together today, on World Eating Disorders Action Day, to send a powerful message to policymakers across the world. We stand hand-in-hand to advance the understanding of eating disorders as treatable, genetically-linked illnesses; to silence myths, to end stigma, and to embrace the diversity of this illness; to open policymakers’ eyes to the need to support and allocate resources to increase early intervention with evidence based treatment access to care; and to advocate for change at an international level.
The Nine Goals: Taking Action Against Eating Disorders
The following are nine goals to be presented to and acted upon by policymakers and governments, urging them to take action, to address the growing epidemic of eating disorders across the globe.
One important step in combating the epidemic of eating disorders is to debunk widespread myths about the illness. This is where YOU come in. Click here to view The Nine Truths About Eating Disorders, a collaborative effort by the Academy for Eating Disorders and leading eating disorders experts, and the short video created by the cast of the upcoming film To the Bone, starring Keanu Reeves.
Then click here to take the pledge to commit to breaking down stigma by sharing the Nine Truths About Eating Disorders and the World Eating Disorders Action Day key messages with others.
By Jessica Betts, MS, RD, LD
REbeL Program Director