Twenty million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder in their life time, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). In order to increase public awareness about the complex effects eating disorders have on individuals and their families, the University of Nevada, Reno’s Counseling Services, the Student Health Center and the Center for Hope of the Sierras are partnering to host National Eating Disorders Awareness Week Sunday, Feb. 23 through Saturday, March 1.
“We are organizing events in Reno to help raise awareness for the fact that eating disorders are serious illnesses that often carry a lot of stigma, which can make it difficult for those affected to seek help,” Maureen Molini-Blandford, a licensed registered dietitian at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, said.
The theme for this year’s awareness campaign is, “I Had No Idea.” The theme focuses on addressing the misconceptions that are associated with eating disorders and educating the public on the serious effects of the illnesses and how to help loved ones with the disorder.
“Hopefully, as more Americans become aware that eating disorders are a significant issue, the more we can prevent them from occurring and help those who are struggling to get the treatment they need,” Molini-Blandford said.
National Eating Disorder Week looks at disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders. Events for the week include Operation Beautiful and the second annual NEDA Walk with guest speaker Erin Akers, CEO of Diabulimia Helpline, a non-profit organization that focuses on helping diabetics with eating disorders.
National Eating Disorder Association Week Events
Thursday, Feb. 27
6-7:30 p.m., Joe Crowley Student Union, Ballroom A
Caitlin Boyle, founder of Operation Beautiful, will give an interactive presentation that explores how society has a skewed version of attractiveness and how it has battered many peoples’ self-esteem.
Saturday, March 1
9:30 a.m.-noon, Gateway Plaza, in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union
The University of Nevada, Reno’s Counseling Services, the Student Health Center and the Center for Hope of the Sierras is holding the Second Annual NEDA Walk. Money raised by the walk will go to fund early intervention and treatment. The cost for adults is $25, students are $15, children are $10 and dogs are $5.