NEDA Launches 25th Annual NEDAwareness Week, Themed Everybody Knows Somebody, Feb. 26-March 3
01/11/2012

Observing 25 Years of Working for a World Without Eating Disorders

Online PR News – 11-January-2012 – – NEW YORK CITY — The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is launching its 25th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week) in an ongoing mission to bring public attention to the critical need to raise awareness and funding to battle eating disorders in the U.S.

During NEDAwareness Week, thousands of people come together in communities across the country, hosting events to raise awareness about body image and bring national attention to the severity of eating disorders, which are mental illnesses (not lifestyle choices) with devastating, often life-threatening, consequences. While there is hope and recovery is possible – particularly with early intervention – many people suffer from the long-term effects of these illnesses.

Themed Everybody Knows Somebody in 2012, some of the many events planned for the week include presentations and health fairs in schools and on college campuses; screenings of informational films; fashion shows featuring men and women of all body types; art shows; The Great Jeans Giveaway; and NEDA Walk fundraisers.

To help promote NEDAwareness week this year, NYC’s Empire State Building will be lit in NEDA’s signature green and blue logo colors the night of Tuesday, Feb. 28 to put a spotlight on the fight against eating disorders.

Commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA, “While we recognize and take pride in our accomplishments over the past 25 years – and applaud all those who have helped fight the battle – there remains a lot to do to attain our goal of a world without eating disorders. Each of us knows someone in our community with an eating disorder. It’s time to do more than just talk about it.”

NEDA encourages individuals to get the conversation started in every community by pledging to do just one thing to raise awareness and provide critical information on eating disorders and related issues. Everyone can participate by planning and/or getting involved in local NEDAwareness Week events and activities; providing information and resources; and by encouraging community members to model acceptance and celebration of diversity in body shapes and sizes. For information on how to get involved during NEDAwareness Week: www.myneda.org

As part of its 25-year anniversary observation, NEDA recently launched Proud2Bme.org, a much-needed and long-overdue “safe space” on the social networking landscape, dedicated to promoting self-esteem and body image among U.S. teens. The site is based on the successful Dutch site (Proud2Bme.nl, launched in May 2009), which has been visited by more than 2.5 million visitors from 149 countries.

“It’s never too soon,” continues Grefe, “to lead by example and teach our children to embrace who they are and love the body they’re in. Studies have repeatedly shown us that low self-esteem is a leading factor in kids experiencing anxiety and depression, to drug use and – among those predisposed – in developing an eating disorder. Kids are bombarded every day with unreal “ideal” body images in the media … and mixed messages in our diet-obsessive world. It’s clear now more than ever that engaging teens is a crucial part of our mission.”

Proud2Bme provides youth with a positive, fun, interactive environment to learn, connect with others and take action for personal and social change. Through engaging content and community features, this unique online space offers news about entertainment, fashion, beauty and other relevant pop culture in a safe, age-appropriate environment. Additionally, there are forums and chat rooms where teens are able to interact and make new friends. In developing the site, teens (ages 13-17) were asked to help identify top issues impacting them and their peers, relating to teen body image, self-esteem, media impact and disordered eating. Additionally, several teens are acting in an ongoing editorial advisory capacity to the site.

U.S. Statistics on Eating Disorders

As many as 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. battle anorexia or bulimia. And at least 15 million more struggle with binge eating disorder. Millions more practice disordered eating due to an obsession with dieting; Four out of 10 Americans either suffered or have known someone who has suffered from an eating disorder; For females between 15- and 24-years-old who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is 12 times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death; 40% of newly identified cases of anorexia are in girls 15-19 years old; There was a significant increase in incidence of anorexia from 1935 to 1989, especially among young women 15-24; There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930; Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives; Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who don’t diet; 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner; 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat; The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds; Most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American women; 46% of nine to 11-year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets and 82% of their families are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets.

About NEDA

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org

For Treatment Referrals, Visit www.NationalEatingDisorders.org
Or Contact NEDA’s Live Helpline: 800-931-2237
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (EST)

Contacts:
Greenleaf & Associates — 323-660-5800
Vicki Greenleaf — vicki@greenleafandassociates.com / Karen Brundage — karen@greenleafandassociates.com

Available for Interviews:
• Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA.
• Doctors, psychologists & other eating disorder treatment specialists throughout the country.
• Recovered eating disorder patients.
• NEDA ambassadors.