National Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Time for Change

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Shining a Light on a Crucial Issue

Each year, the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) dedicates the last full week of February to National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW). This week serves as a vital platform to raise awareness about eating disorders, promote healthy relationships with food and body image, and encourage individuals and communities to take action against these complex and often debilitating conditions.

The Impact of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses characterized by unhealthy eating habits and distorted thoughts and beliefs about food, weight, and body image. They affect millions of people worldwide, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. In the United States alone, over 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder, making them one of the most common chronic illnesses among adolescents and young adults.

Common Eating Disorders

Some of the most well-known eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: Characterized by severe food restriction, fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Characterized by binge eating followed by purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, or excessive exercise.
  • Binge eating disorder: Characterized by recurrent episodes of uncontrolled eating and feelings of guilt and shame.

Beyond the Label: Recognizing the Signs

Eating disorders often manifest differently in individuals, making them difficult to identify. However, some general warning signs may include:

  • Excessive preoccupation with food, weight, and body image
  • Changes in eating habits, such as skipping meals, restricting food intake, or binge eating
  • Unusual weight fluctuations
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Social isolation
  • Obsessive exercise

Taking Action: Supporting Individuals and Communities

EDAW serves as a crucial reminder that eating disorders are treatable. With proper support and treatment, individuals can recover and lead fulfilling lives.

Here are some ways we can all contribute to positive change:

  • Educate ourselves and others about eating disorders.
  • Challenge unrealistic beauty standards and promote body positivity.
  • Create a supportive environment free from judgment and discrimination.
  • Encourage open communication about eating concerns and mental health.
  • Seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder.

Resources and Support
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, here are some helpful resources:

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA):
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD):
Eating Recovery Center:
The Jed Foundation:

Together, we can create a world where everyone feels empowered to embrace their bodies, cultivate healthy relationships with food, and prioritize their mental well-being.

Let’s use EDAW as a catalyst for change and build a future free from eating disorders.

Remember, recovery is possible. There is hope.

Dr. Kre Johnson is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician and the sole owner of Brownstone Healthcare and Aesthetics. She is the Medical Director of the City of Birmingham’s Employee Health Clinic-Brownstone BWell Birmingham. She is the Event Producer of Wifeology and the founder of Three Twenty Girls, IncShe loves God, traveling, and all things Southern!!
Brownstone BWell: Brownstone Healthcare has partnered with the City of Birmingham to offer primary care services to the employees of the City of Birmingham for $0 copayment. This partnership is for preventative services & screenings and sick visits. We partner with your current primary care physician and our goal is to keep you out of the ER and urgent care. We do not share your information with the City of Birmingham. We uphold HIPPA and professional standards. You can visit us at our downtown location 1700 5th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35203 or Trussville: 4643 Camp Coleman Road #117 Trussville, AL 35173 205-202-5650 call for your appointment today.

Dr. Ankrehah Trimble Johnson aka "Dr Kre"


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