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Organizations band together to set the record straight on eating disorders

LatinaLista — Summer is on the horizon, and with that, thoughts by many sun worshippers as to how they will look laid out by the pool or strolling along the shore. For about 20 million women and 10 million men, their body perception is that they are too fat. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), these men and women suffer from a “clinically significant eating disorder,” if not this summer, at one time in their lives.

Disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating are the main medical conditions associated with images of otherwise beautiful people whose bodies have become nothing more but skin on bones.

Given all the media coverage of these eating disorders, most of us think we could easily identify someone with an eating disorder. Maybe. Maybe not.

NEDA, along with 12 other eating disorder treatment, advocacy and research groups know that though media helps in raising awareness, it also perpetuates misperceptions and myths that cause victims suffering from eating disorders to go unnoticed until it’s too late.

To combat the common misperceptions, NEDA and their 12 partners created “9 universal truths” about eating disorders. The truths are meant to dispel the misperceptions and educate us all on how to save a life by recognizing the true signs of a person with eating disorders.

9 Truths About Eating Disorders:

Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations and socioeconomic statuses.

Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.

Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

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