In 62 minutes you could catch up on your favorite TV show, take a nap during your boring lecture or give your resume its much needed update. But every 62 minutes, at least one person will die from an eating disorder.
In the U.S. alone as many as 30 million people suffer from some type of eating disorder, making eating disorders the deadliest of all mental illnesses. Despite this, eating disorders often live in the shadows and most people don’t get the attention that they deserve.
National Eating Disorders Association is a non-profit organization hoping to shed light on this often overlooked disorder. During NEDAAwareness Week, they do by promoting body positivity and showcasing the life-saving resources that many people may need.
The 30th NEDAAwareness Week took place this week, and UH Counseling and Psychological Services partnered with NEDA in a series of events to help spread awareness.
These events included an educational talk about eating disorders, an exercise on mindful eating, a screening of a short documentary over eating disorders in men, a meditation session and the “Love Your Selfie!” event where students are able to take selfies and identify positive self-statements.
Off of campus, Houston City Hall partook in the week by participating in NEDA’s lighting campaign from Feb. 26 through March 1. Landmarks that participated in the event were lit in the signature blue and green colors of NEDA.
Several people have used this week to also post on social media and spread body positive messages or show the progress they’ve made in overcoming an eating disorder.
NEDA formed in 2001 after Eating Disorders Awareness & Prevention and American Anorexia Bulimia Association merged together. At the time, these two were the largest and longest standing eating disorders prevention and advocacy organizations in the world.
Each year NEDA Walks take place across the U.S. These walks raise community awareness and funding for eating disorders. Houston will be hosting its walk in the fall, but a date has not yet been selected. Anyone is free to join.