Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. One in two hundred women in the United States suffer from this disease. Eating disorders are more common in the U.S. than Alzheimer’s disease (10 million people have eating disorders compared to 4 million with Alzheimer’s disease).
If eating disorders are so prevalent, why aren’t people more aware of this dangerous condition and why aren’t our research dollars being spent accordingly? Why is it so difficult for family and friends to recognize the signs, and why is it so challenging to get insurance companies to cover treatment? I’d like to examine three factors that contribute to an eating disorder’s evasive and silent nature.
All of the thoughts discussed above contribute to eating disorders lingering far behind other illnesses in regard to research, awareness, treatment, and prevention. It’s so important that we speak out about eating disorders: to change perceptions about the severity of the illness, to challenge society’s obsession with thinness over health, and to demand the resources and treatment to support those who are in recovery.
More people should know about this.
Let’s make the fight against eating disorders cool.