Eating Disorders Awareness Week is taking place from 1-7 March 2021 and is a campaign to create a future where people experiencing eating disorders are met with understanding and compassion.
What is an eating disorder?
Eating disorders are serious mental illness that involve disordered eating behaviour. Eating disorders aren’t about food; the behaviour might be a way for the sufferer to feel in control or a coping mechanism. Behaviours include eating large quantities of food at once, restricting food intake, purging, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviours.
Why do people get eating disorders?
Eating disorders can affect anyone, no matter your age, gender, ethnicity, religion or background. Evidence suggests that eating disorders are a combination of a biological predisposition to the illness and an environmental or social trigger.
Why is raising awareness of eating disorders important?
There may be people in your lives who are suffering from an eating disorder in silence because they are afraid to come forward and get help because of the stigma associated with eating disorders. By campaigning, awareness can be raised about eating disorders and can encourage people to get support.
What is the theme of Eating Disorder Week this year?
This year, Beat is focussing on binge eating disorder, a disorder which will affect 1 in 50 people in their lifetime. It’s the most common eating disorder, but it’s the least understood one. Here are some facts that may help you to understand the importance of raising awareness about binge eating disorder:
- 1 in 6 of those ever affected by binge eating disorder attempts suicide
- 1 in 3 of those ever affected by binge eating disorder considers taking their own life
- Only 1 in 4 who have had the condition have received treatment
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity to help guide and support anyone affected by an eating disorder. They have created a guide for friends and family to aid understanding of eating disorders. You can download a copy below:
Help for young people
Youthline: 0808 801 0711
Help for students
Studentline: 0808 801 0811