In the U.S., 10 million females and one million males struggle with the devastating effects of anorexia and bulimia, and another 25 million suffer from binge eating disorder. Millions more practice disordered eating due to an obsession with dieting. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are serious illnesses, not lifestyle choices. Like eye color and skin color, body size is largely determined by genetics. Environmental factors – societal pressures and the unrealistic images of women reflected in the media – may pull the trigger, but genetics loads the gun. Eating disorders are preventable and treatable, yet hundreds of people die from them every year. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Thousands of individuals and communities are expected to participate in events across the country to raise awareness about body image and eating disorder issues during this week, and Palm Beach County is no different. The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness is hoping to bring much needed attention to eating disorders throughout our area.
The Alliance is proud to announce that recognition of Eating Disorders Awareness Week has received legislative support from local representatives including a City of West Palm Beach Proclamation from Mayor Lois Frankel, a Palm Beach County Proclamation from Commissioner Addie Greene, and a State Resolution from Senator Dave Aronberg.
Numerous events and presentations are planned throughout the County that are free of charge and open to the public. The Week officially kicked off yesterday with Mayor Frankel presenting the Proclamation on the steps of the West Palm Beach Library. Additional events that are taking place throughout South Florida are posted at www.eatingdisorderinfo.org.
The Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness (The Alliance) is a non-profit organization working to prevent eating disorders and promote a positive body image, free from weight preoccupation and size prejudice. The Alliance offers educational presentations, cutting-edge information and referral, training, advocacy, support and mentoring services. Since its inception in 2000, The Alliance has offered presentations on eating disorders, positive body image, and self-esteem to over 100,000 individuals. Recovery from these disorders is possible, and individuals should not have to suffer or recover alone.
For more information about National Eating Disorders Week Events or The Alliance, please call 561.841.0900 or log on to www.eatingdisorderinfo.org.