Innovations for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Eating Disorders

As many as 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. Yet, there is still a great need for eating disorder awareness, as eating disorders are often normalized by the media and the conversations surrounding them often perpetuate harmful mythsNational Eating Disorders Awareness Week was created by The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) in response to this persistent reality. It takes place annually, and this year it’s happening from February 23rd to March 1st.

Here’s how you can get involved:

Social Media

If you love social media, you should consider joining in on the #AdiosED Twitter Party on Monday, February 24th at 8pm ET, co-hosted by NEDA and Adios Barbie. The chat is going to be focused on addressing eating disorder myths and recovery. This is a great way to connect with people affected by eating disorders, as well as activists and organizations working to bring about change. Just tweet using the hashtag #AdiosED to join in on the conversation!

Webinars

If you want to learn more about eating disorders, NEDA is hosting free webinars during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Some of the topics that are going to be discussed include how eating disorders affect the LGBTQ community, the African American community, and people who are middle-aged and older. You must pre-register to attend one of these webinars, so hurry and sign up!

Mobile Apps

Of course, with the development of mobile technology, there are many apps that have been created to help prevent and manage eating disorders. One of these apps is Recovery Record, which helps those in eating disorder recovery to utilize different activities and exercises to manage their relationship with food. Some of the features of this app include a helpline, a meal planner, a food management logbook, and the ability to connect with and find treatment centers and clinicians. This app has received 5-star ratings, is free to download, and is available for iPhone and Android phones.

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Another great app is Body Beautiful, which anyone can use, whether or not you have an eating disorder. The app is based in body positivity and is designed for the user to practice body love. Body Beautiful’s features include inspirational quotes, links to body image articles and content, and links to relevant resources and organizations. This app is available for iPhone and costs .99 cents.

Attend an Event

There are going to be plenty events held and sponsored by NEDA during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! These will span from fashions shows, to scale smashing, to film screenings. If you’re interested and want to see what events are happening in your area, check here to find out.

Get Screened

If you think you or someone you know might have an eating disorder, you can participate in an anonymous online screening. Although this is not an official diagnosis (you must see a health professional to get one), this can help you to better understand your behavior. Please be aware though that these screenings do not take the place of seeing a professional. If you have an eating disorder, are in recovery, or suspect you might have one, remember that you are not alone. If you need support, please call NEDA’s confidential helpline at 1-800-931-2237 to receive help.

Are you going to participate in any of these actions during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week? Tell us about what you plan to do by tweeting us at @YTHorg.

For more ideas on how to spread awareness around a health issue using innovative approaches, join myself and the YTH’s other Youth Advisory Board members at YTH Live, the annual conference on tech innovation for youth health and wellness. See you this April 6th-8th in San Francisco!

Erin McKelle youth leaderErin Mckelle (@ErinMcKelle) is a member of YTH’s Youth Advisory Board. She is an e-activist, video blogger, student, and nonprofit advocate. A fierce feminist, she has launched several projects, including the Fearless Feminism blog and the Consent is Sexy video series about healthy sexuality. Erin is attending Ohio University as a women’s studies major. +Learn more about Erin

 

Creative Commons images by Danielle Helm and Summer Skye.


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