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Annual NEDA Conference Taking Place in L.A.

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The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is hosting its annual conference in Los Angeles at the end of this week (October 13 to 15). The conference slogan is “Reaching for the Stars! Advancing the Prevention and Treatment of Eating Disorders”.

The conference connects families coping with the effects of eating disorders and people in recovery from eating disorders with various professionals, in an effort to provide support and education about this challenging illness. Several of the presenters have personally overcome this devastating disorder.

Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder affect over one million men and 10 million women in the US alone. The impact of eating disorders on family members is also considerable, and knowledge and support is seen as crucial. Family and close friends may be a vital source of assistance for individuals who suffer from eating disorders, as the illness frequently results in social isolation and a break down in interpersonal relationships.

Various guest speakers and experts in the field of eating disorders are gathered together at the conference. Different topics are covered including better ways to understand eating disorders, and the effect of the media on eating disorders.

The implications and trends of current research on the field of eating disorders are also presented, with a particular emphasis on the bio-psycho-social approach.

Finally, personal stories from people who have recovered from bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating disorder are also featured. Listening to someone’s personal experiences with eating disorders helps other sufferers gain insight into the unique challenges of this condition. Hearing from someone who has “been there” is especially encouraging, and offers hope for good health and recovery in the future.

The conference can be costly for individuals to attend, although there are a certain number of discounts and scholarship applications available well in advance of the conference date itself.

Photo: Nicole Kotschate.