Raise Awareness – An Exclusive Interview with NEDA
In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, TRUE interviewed the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) and gained some valuable insight regarding eating disorders. Below are some surprising facts you should know about eating disorders, as well as how you can get help if you or someone you know is suffering from such a disorder. Share this information to help Raise Awareness for Eating Disorders and Promote Body Positivity!
1. Do you think there’s enough emphasis put on the subject of eating disorders and how prevalent and damaging they truly are?
NEDA: There is not enough emphasis on the myths and stereotypes related to eating disorders. Early detection and intervention is critical to getting help. One way we are working to help with early detection is with our screening tool which can let a respondent know if they have early warning signs of an eating disorder and should seek help.
2. How have body empowerment and inclusivity movements within the fashion industry changed the “ideal body shape”?
NEDA: Mounting pressure has been placed on media and fashion companies to expand representation to reflect more diverse sizes and backgrounds of the consumers have begun to encourage change.
3. With so many changes occurring in the industry, is there anything else you would like to see done regarding the promotion of a positive body image or awareness of eating disorders?
NEDA: Many companies have seen success with more diverse campaigns and consumers are playing a role. The #DEARNYFW campaign had 100 signatures from models and 2000 people who signed a supportive petition challenging the industry to commit to promoting health and diversity on the runway.
4. People normally associate eating disorders with someone being anorexic or bulimic. Are there any other types that people should know about?
NEDA: Yes! Some of the more common ones include Binge Eating Disorder (BED), when someone consumes a lot of food in a short amount of time; Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) involves an avoidance of foods unrelated to shape or weight concerns; and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) involves many eating disorder behaviors that don’t quite fit into the other diagnostic categories but is still a serious eating disorder. Visit to see more visit: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder.
5. What are some dangers stemming from eating disorders that your everyday person may not be aware of?
NEDA: Eating disorders can affect a person’s ability to function in many different ways, including one’s ability to concentrate. Depending on the behaviors people can end up having gastrointestinal issues, dental problems, and heart issues. Some of these can be long-term. To see more visit: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/health-consequences.
6. What are warning signs of an eating disorder and should you get involved if you see someone displaying these signs?
NEDA: Rigid food rules, discomfort eating around others, drastic weight loss or weight gains, excessive exercise or other signs of purging such as frequent trips to the bathroom are all common warning signs that someone might be struggling with an eating disorder. To see more visit here or watch this video.
7. What is the first step someone can take in order to overcome their eating disorder?
NEDA: We encourage those who are starting the road to recovery to reach out for professional help. A great first step is to contact the National Eating Disorders Helpline at 800.931.2237 or www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/helplinechat. The Helpline is open Monday through Thursday 9am-9pm Eastern Time and Friday 9am-5pm Eastern Time.
8. What kinds of tools are most effective for helping someone overcome an eating disorder?
NEDA: Seeking professional help and surrounding yourself with loved ones who are supportive of your recovery can be helpful. Connecting the level of care you need, finding a support group, connecting with a NEDA Navigator or accessing our Forums may also be helpful.
9. Do you have any tips for how to handle someone you know refusing help for their eating disorder?
NEDA: It can be really tough if someone is not getting help for their eating disorder. Communicating your concerns and in a caring, non-confrontational manner and encouraging professional help are important steps to take. For more information, check out: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/help/caregivers/talk or contact the Helpline.
10. What kind of advice do you have for someone who has faced or is facing an eating disorder?
NEDA: You are not alone and recovery is possible! We know that recovery is challenging and scary, but the National Eating Disorders Association is here to provide you with the information and support that you need to take steps forward.
11. Do you ever completely recover from an eating disorder, or is there always a chance for a relapse? If the latter, what can you do to prevent a disorder from returning?
NEDA: Relapse is not uncommon, and is often a normal part of the recovery process. However, full recovery is possible and seeking specialized help at initial signs of concerns before and after treatment are important ways to minimize the chances of relapse. Check out this video for more information.
12. Are there any specific resources someone who has or has had an eating disorder can benefit from?
NEDA: Yes! Our online Forums are a great place to talk to others who are in different places of their recovery journey. Reaching out to the Helpline find specific treatment options and support services that are right for you is also another option.