In this day and age, it seems Americans in general have a complicated relationship with food, exercise, and overall appearance. Perhaps then it is not surprising that today, over 30 million people struggle with eating disorders in this country. Unfortunately, a strong stigma also exists when it comes to eating disorders. Often, this stigma not only contributes to shame around eating disorders, but also can prevent sufferers from seeking the treatment they need and deserve. This year, HPA/LiveWell in Albany and Poughkeepsie, New York seeks to support the efforts of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week through raising awareness and educating the community.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious illnesses that severely affect one’s mental health, usually involving extreme emotions, and dangerous attitudes and behaviors around food.

Although many different types of eating disorders exist, some are far more common than others. Some of the most widespread eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia – characterized by extreme weight loss (due to restriction of food intake) and distorted body image.
  • Bulimia – involves a cycle of bingeing and purging (means of compensating for food intake), such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, or excessive exercise.
  • Binge eating disorder – categorized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food (frequently to the point of discomfort), and often, feelings of being out of control around food.

It is important to remember that although anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder may be amongst the most common eating disorders, even these can present differently (have different symptoms & warning signs) depending on the individual.

Getting Involved – National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The theme of this year’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is “Let’s Get Real.” The goal of the theme is to highlight the lesser-heard eating disorder stories and to expand the conversation around these stories.

There are plenty of ways to get involved in National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

  • Educate yourself about eating disorders; share what you learn!
  • Plan a National Eating Disorders Awareness Week even in your local town or city.
  • Join a conversation about eating disorders awareness on social media.
  • Share your eating disorder story with friends, family, and/or community members.
  • Encourage organizations, companies, and schools in your community to become official partners of the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week campaign.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, contact HPA/LiveWell in Albany, New York at 518-218-1188 or Poughkeepsie, New York at 845-372-4367 to find out more about eating disorder treatment options.

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Our Albany and Poughkeepsie, NY locations can help you and your loved ones. To learn more, call to speak with a Case Manager today.