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Awareness of eating disorders awareness

Posted Feb 24 2012 1:26pm
Yes, "awareness" is good. The public really knows little about eating disorders and it is not until we are hit with it in our own families do we discover how difficult the illness is and how absurdly difficult it is to get proper treatment.

But not ALL awareness is good. Awareness that distracts from the important stuff can be WORSE than ignorance.

Most awareness campaigns around eating disorders are based on the same mistaken ideas of the problem that the public already holds: poor body image, size zero models, pressure to be thin, appearance over achievement, and "an issue of control." Trashing our scales, mocking Barbie, taking off our makeup, and scolding mom are easy but cheap and suspiciously easy: we really don't need any more awareness around those ideas. We need to DISPEL those.

Here's what the public needs awareness about
  • Dieting and over-exercise are toxic for the developing brain, and can be a sign of deadly mental illness.
  • Children and adolescents shouldn't be losing weight, skipping meals, or using exercise to change their body size.
  • Eating disorders, while very serious psychiatric conditions, are treatable.
  • Get your loved one into treatment. Not ANY treatment: treatment based on good science.
P.S. Most treatment available is not based on good science.

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