Written by: Kimberly Martinez, Executive Director of The Elisa Project
Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, they are not about food, and you cannot tell just by looking at someone if they are struggling. In conjunction with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 23 – March 1, Dallas-based The Elisa Project (www.theelisaproject.org) and Elisa’s Disordered Eating Coalition are bringing much-needed public attention to the critical needs of those who suffer because of eating disorders through the “Everybody Knows Somebody” campaign.
There is a shocking lack of knowledge and understanding in our community surrounding negative body image and eating disorders. Over 30 million Americans suffer from this illness and over 150,000 Americans will die each year. The goal of this campaign is to encourage open discussion and provide accurate information about the severity of eating disorders symptoms and illnesses. Eating disorders are extremely common, affecting an increasing number of both men and women each year. Chances are you know someone who is suffering. It is our hope that we can begin an important dialogue through this campaign to educate the public to understand, prevent, and take the stigma away from eating disorders, and most importantly, encourage treatment for those who need it.
All of us can take part in changing our society’s unrealistic views on body image and can reach out to our friends and family members who may be struggling with an eating disorder. When there is help, there is hope. If you notice changes in a friend or loved-one’s diet, weight or esteem, take it seriously. Encourage them to seek support; giving them access to a healthier future.
Call The Elisa Project at 214-369-5222, that’s 214-369-5222 or visit our website at www.theelisaproject.org.