Skip to Content

NEDAwareness Week Feb 20-26


In light of the upcoming National Eating Disorder Awareness week February 20th through the 26th the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is starting early on raising awareness. This annual event is in its 24th year!

How You can Help Raise Awareness

“NEDAwareness Week 2011 is already generating interest nationwide, with volunteers coordinating events throughout the country using their local media to spread the word about eating disorders. During this week, hundreds of events will be held in communities coast to coast, offering an opportunity for people to gather information and learn how to support those with eating disorders. Opportunities are still available to distribute materials, purchase kits or to register to “do just one thing” to support this national movement.

Ways in which you can help raise awareness make posters and hang them in your schools, libraries, any community place that will allow you to hang them. Make handouts educating people about eating disorders and hand them out at school the shopping mall any public place where children, teens and parents might be. Anything you do may make a difference even if it is in just one life! Put your best foot forward and make an effort to help the thousands of people who suffer from eating disorders.



Eating Disorders Awareness doesn't end because the Week is over

February 20-26th is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

I have an insatiable appetite for awareness. One week is a good start. In January we had Healthy Weight Awareness Week.
People in the Healthy At Every Size (HAES sm) community: nutritionists, researchers, physicians, fat activists, and specialists in eating disorders joined together to spread the word that people of all sizes, shapes, and weights could be healthy or not healthy.
I ingested article after article. I learned a great deal. What I gleaned most, however, from my voracious binge reading, was that one of the unhealthiest things about focusing on ones’ weight is hating oneself because of what one weighs.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.It may have started off as Breast Cancer Awareness Week and grew into the whole month. This is a good thing. A month of doing good deeds in pink. Baseball players wearing pink shoes and gloves. Some yogurt has pink foil lids; during the month of October when you mail them in, the company donates money to the cause of battling Breast Cancer. It’s a wonderful campaign…although…I’m not sure what happens on November 1st if you still have those lids…I actually still have several pink lidded yogurts in my fridge from October. I’m sure the yogurt is still good, not past its expiration date. I bought it on sale. I don’t eat yogurt very often. But the ads promised me I’d be eating red velvet cake or cherry cheesecake. I tried each one, carefully peeling off the lid to send in to the donation address (which was microscopically written on the back of the lid). With each new flavor I hoped that I would be transported to that place of bliss that a good slice of cheesecake or homemade red velvet cake can take you to. Eyes closed….mindfully eating spoonful by spoonful…swirling the yogurt in my mouth….
But in the end, it was strawberry yogurt. Not the first or the last of life’s disappointments. One of my dearest friends from college is a breast cancer survivor. Thin as a rail her whole life. Gorgeous, blond, thin, I…red haired, freckled, round; she got breast cancer when she was about 47. Being thin didn’t make her healthier than I. She’s a survivor though. For Dee, every month is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Dee and I were inseparable in college. We did everything together. There was no territory off limits between us. Every day, however, was “Deah is Jealous That She’s not as Thin as Dee Awareness Day.” How unfair it was that she was thin…just born thin…stayed thin…lived thin. We were so much alike, and yet the difference in our size got her all of the juicy attention. And when she would go off with someone for the night; that was her territory. Not shared with me, hers alone. She never flaunted it. She accepted her body as her birthright and insisted that I do the same. She was way ahead of MY time…it would be years before I could embrace my body as MY body and not chastise it for not being Dee’s body, or Twiggy’s body or Wilma Flintstone’s Body.
For God’s sake, I was jealous of a freaking cartoon character!!!!
Anyway, there is a day for this, a day for that. A month for this, a month for that.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
I understand the need to bring focus to a certain event, cause, or an influential person. It is a societal need because people are so busy and wrapped up in surviving that it’s difficult to stay aware of things that don’t directly affect them. February is Black History Month, May 7-13th is National Teacher’s Awareness Week and my two personal favorites: March 7-13 National Sleep Awareness Week and April is National Stress Awareness Month, (who knew?) I for one would like to see National Sleep Awareness Week be a month and Stress Awareness be a day…I’m already Way Too Aware of my stress…but that’s just me.
When we send out a Call for Awareness there is hope that the awareness will result in money for research, increased access to information and comfort in knowing that others are sharing your concern, even for a fleeting moment. There is also comfort in knowing you are not alone. But it is important to remember for some people Every Day is Eating Disorder Awareness Day, it is a struggle and a courageous battle. Others need events to arouse their awareness because awareness can lead to Action and Activism that will hopefully last long beyond NEDA Week.