Health Watch
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018 is from 26th February to 4th March.
  • The theme for the year 2018 is ‘Why Wait?’
  • The awareness week aims to reach out to people by getting them talk more about eating disorders.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018 is observed from 26th February to 4th March. The theme for this year is 'Why Wait?' The awareness week is designed to get more and more people talking about eating disorders. The sooner the treatment, faster the recovery.

On an average, an individual who experiences eating disorder symptoms waits almost three years before seeking professional help. Following this, individuals wait for an average of eight weeks for an assessment and then wait for another eight weeks before starting treatment, reveals a 2017 Beat study.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018: Why Wait?

A need to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, encourage and empower people to take action now is necessary.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, or background. Bulimia, binge eating disorder, and anorexia are some examples.

An individual with an eating disorder has negative feelings about body image, concerns about body shape and body weight, resulting in problematic eating habits like binge eating, bulimia or anorexia.

For most people, eating disorders are to cope with feelings or situations that make them unhappy, angry, depressed, stressed, or anxious.

Types of Eating Disorders

Anorexia or anorexia nervosa is characterized by weight loss or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children. It can cause severe physical problems because of the effects of starvation on the body that leads to loss of muscle strength and reduced bone strength.

Bulimia or bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating followed by purging. People with bulimia tend to eat large amounts of food at one time and later try methods to avoid weight gain by throwing up, taking laxatives, fasting or exercising a lot more than usual.

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious, life-threatening eating disorder, but is treatable. BED is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food.

Emotional Eating is overeating emotionally, i.e., when someone turns to food just for comfort based on their feelings and not based on their hunger.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) do not fit with the exact diagnostic criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder and therefore known as OSFED.

Facts about Eating Disorders

  • In the U.S., about 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder.
  • For every 62 minutes, at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders, especially anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • About 13 percent of women who are over 50 years of age engage in eating disorder behaviors.
  • About 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent of American women suffer from anorexia and bulimia in their lifetime.
  • About 50-80 percent of the risk for anorexia and bulimia is genetic.
  • Nearly 2.8 percent of American adults suffer from binge eating disorder in their lifetime.

Eating disorders are usually seen among teens or young adults, but can also develop during childhood. It can affect both men and women, and the rates among women are higher than among men.

Eating disorders are serious but are treatable, and is possible to recover from the disorder fully. These disorders can be treated with adequate nutrition, reducing excessive exercise, and by stopping purging behaviors.

Need for Early Interventions

Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, but recovery is. It's time to recover, take action and fight for change.

Early diagnosis can help treat the individual early. Therefore, there is a need for early intervention programs to help people understand about eating disorders.

It is also necessary to promote healthy attitudes of eating self-acceptance, self-esteem, and positive body image.

Reference :
  1. Eating Disorders Awareness Week - (
  2. Eating Disorder Statistics - (
  3. Eating Disorders - (
Source: Medindia

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