Kansas City,
16:23 PM

Nine truths everyone needs to know about eating disorders

Did you know that 30 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives? Did you also know one third of these are male? Even more will deal with food and body image issues which can have significant negative impacts on health, academic learning, and social relationships.

“Families are very important in the lives of teens with eating disorders, and are a necessary and important resource for recovery," said Dr. Chris Ohlemeyer. "Our Children’s Mercy Eating Disorder Clinic educates and coaches families on how to be effective interventionists, alongside the support and expertise of our multi-disciplinary team.”

February 26-March 4 is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Let’s Get Real is the theme of this year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, with the goal of expanding our conversation about eating disorders and highlighting how it impacts even those we least expect. Given that misinformation about eating disorders is prevalent, let’s start by outlining Nine Truths based on Dr. Cynthia Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health Alliance for Research Progress meeting.

Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.

Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

For more about eating disorders and the National Eating Disorder Association’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, please see the following attachment, or go to https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/nedawareness

Do you have questions or concerns about a child or adolescent? 

Contact our Eating Disorders Center at College Boulevard Campus, 913-696-5070.

Do you have questions or concerns about an adult?

There is help. Local Greater KC resources for adults with eating disorders: