February 21 – February 27, 2022
Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Eating disorders affect everyone regardless of age, body weight, ethnicity, gender, income, race, sex, and sexual orientation. Explore this blog for detailed information and resources about eating disorders. Do you think a loved one or coworker may be struggling with an eating disorder? The two toolkits below can help you better support your family member, friend, or coworker, by providing you with the resources you need.
“We desperately need to change the way we talk about food and body, because health is so much more than the size of your body or the food on your plate.” ~ Anonymous
What are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are complex, and in some cases, life-threatening mental and physical conditions that negatively impact one’s eating behaviors. In the US, approximately 20 million women and 10 million men will have an eating disorder within their lifetime. Recovery is possible with treatment and support.
Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are not the only eating disorders. There are several others as well, including orthorexia and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. Each eating disorder has its own associated signs, symptoms, and health outcomes.
Common Signs & Symptoms
Although there are symptoms specific to each type of eating disorder, there are general signs and symptoms to look out for. These include extreme concerns with weight, calories, and dieting and visible fluctuations in weight. The same eating disorder may affect two people in different ways.
Eating Disorders & Identities
Eating disorders affect various populations, including the LGBTQ+ community and Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities. Recognizing and understanding that eating disorders can impact all individuals is the first step toward ensuring that everyone has access to resources, treatment, and support.
Explore ways you can help a loved one begin their eating disorder recovery journey by watching the short video above. Recovery is possible with support and compassion from friends, family members, and co-workers (3 mins).
Watch and listen to this insightful discussion regarding eating disorders and mental health in the Black community (50 mins).
Transgender and gender non-conforming youth are four times as likely to develop an eating disorder than cisgender youth. Discover how eating disorders impact the transgender and gender non-conforming community through this powerful TED Talk delivered by Vaughn Darst (17 mins).
Eating disorders have one of the highest death rates of any mental illness. In this TED Talk, Viveca Lee discusses her experience with anorexia nervosa and the common misconceptions about eating disorders (12 mins).
Learn about harmful myths surrounding eating disorders and why it’s important that we eliminate them by listening to an episode from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Better Off podcast.
About 1 in 3 people who struggle with an eating disorder is male. Listen to David Proctor’s experience with an eating disorder as a collegiate athlete at Boston University on this Spot On podcast episode.
Help is available.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, please call, text, or chat with the confidential National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) Helpline or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s 24/7 National Hotline for resources, support, and treatment referral.
Eating Disorder Support Groups
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) provides free, 75-minute support groups every week. The groups are open to anyone with an eating disorder at any stage.
Emotional Wellness Resources
Explore GatorCare’s collection of emotional wellness resources, including presentations, toolkits, and meditation-centered classes and challenges.
GatorCare Members Only
GatorCare members can receive support for eating disorders through Talkspace. Members 18+ can receive free and unlimited online counseling and psychiatry services, and members 13+ can receive free counseling services.
GatorCare Members Only
Lucet Behavioral Health (Formerly known as New Directions)
GatorCare Members at the Tier 1 level can access eating disorder counseling services through Lucet Behavioral Health (Formerly known as New Directions). Use the online portal to select your specific plan or call 866-287-9569 to find a provider near you.
Discover GatorCare’s nutrition resource library, including challenges, recipes, and presentations. One presentation, Mindful Eating, focuses on creating a healthy relationship with food.
Ask a Dietitian
Ask one of our licensed and registered dietitians any questions about food, nutrition, or eating healthier or check out the frequently asked questions page.