Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy November!

It's a new month, and with a new month, comes some good news from a recent study... Results from a national survey (conducted by the National Eating Disorders Association) reveal that the general public's awareness about eating disorders has dramatically increased. Great news! According to the study, 82% of people would agree that an eating disorder is a physical OR mental illness. 78% of people believed that they would know if someone was suffering from an ED, and 95% said if they knew someone that was suffering from an ED, they would help the person seek the appropriate help.

That is definitely progress and encouraging news. : ) One area that the survey highlighted was the fact that overall, specific knowledge about eating disorders has not increased and that the incidence of eating disorders has not declined. Rather than being discouraged by this part of the survey's results, it just reminds me that there is still a need to continue to raise awareness and educate people about eating disorders. There has been a lot in the news this week about eating disorders... between Portia de Rossi sharing about her eating disorder (maybe too explicitly!) and Demi Lovato, who quit her tour to allegedly receive treatment for an eating disorder. An interesting comment that Lynn Grefe (NEDA President) made is that too often we focus on trying to de-stigmatize mental illness and eating disorders, which can sometimes reinforce the stigma. She went on to say that having an eating disorder is no different than having any other illness (breast cancer, etc) and that we need to spend more of our time focusing on educating people, especially in light of this recent data. Two thumbs up, Ms. Grefe.

To check out more of the data from this survey, keep checking back in:) The link is through MedScape Med News and technical difficulties are interfering with the link attaching. You can also google 'NEDA survey MedScape' to find it as well!


  1. My co-workers were talking yesterday about the Portia de Rossi episode. They expressed that it was too hard to watch, and that they eventually had to turn it off.

    Thought the explicit nature can be disturbing to many, I think it helps people who have never experienced an eating disorder to disprove misconceptions that they may have.

  2. hi danielle! i agree that the explicit nature of portia de rossi's story might be really triggering and unhealthy for people to see/hear! while it may provide a way for people to truly see that eating disorders are a mental illness, i wonder if there are other ways to educate and inform?! any ideas?? thanks for reading my blog! : )

  3. Well, I personally did not watch the episode, since I do have a history with eating disorders. But I must say that the discussion my co-workers had about it was triggering in itself! It seems a tightrope walk between educating people and triggering people... I remember a video that I had to watch in health class in junior high about bulimia, and that video was very triggering to many girls. Unfortunately I don't have ideas on how to walk that tightrope.

  4. You are right, there is def a fine line... I do think it is possible to educate without being explicit and triggering- but I think it's tough and requires a lot of careful thinking as to how that actually plays out. I don't know that I have any solid answers, but I think it's good to think about and talk about! : )