Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 27th-March 5th)

This week (February 27th-March 5th) marks the annual Eating Disorder Awareness Week where we recognize the struggle of eating disorders and disordered eating and bring awareness to the prevalence and signs of eating disorders.

This year’s theme celebrates Strength through Experience and Knowledge by recognizing that It’s Time for a Change.  So often, those with eating disorders struggle in secret while the effects of the disorder lead to health and life changes.  Eating disorders have the second highest death rate for all mental illnesses second only to opioid use.

The good news is that there is help and support, so people do not have to be alone.  This year celebrates the experience of many and the strength we have as we work together to find hope and healing in our journey with food and our bodies.

What is an eating disorder or disordered eating and how prevalent are they?  Below are some statistics from the National Eating Disorder Association regarding the prevalence of Eating Disorders.  While many factors contribute to their development including biological, social, and psychological factors, our culture of idealized thinness is cited as having the largest environmental impact on the development of eating disorders.  The prevalence of eating disorders is on the rise.

  • NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association) has experienced a 107% increase in contacts since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • During their lifetime, 28.8 million Americans will experience an eating disorder.

How do you know if you are struggling with an eating disorder?  Below is a screening tool from NEDA to help determine if you may need support.  Eating disorders involve a high focus on food and body often taking away from the meaningful things in our lives.  This may include restricting food, binging, compensating for eating through different methods including making yourself sick or exercise, and feeling the need to control the shape and size of your body often at the expense of your health and meaningful activities in life. 

Screening tool: Eating Disorders Screening Tool | Help & Support | NEDA (

What should you do if you are struggling with an eating disorder?  The first step is to acknowledge the struggle and reach out for support.  Working with a team including a licensed counselor, dietitian, and physician provides the best support to help build awareness and take steps to recovery.  Our clinicians at Personal Balance Counseling including dietitians and counselors can help you explore your relationship with food and body and begin to find healing. 

Other resources for information and support include:

NEDA has several options for listening to the stories of hope this week as we come together to find healing and learn from the strength and experience of others .  If you are struggling with an eating disorder, you do not need to do this alone!

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