It is estimated that 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder. National Eating Disorder Awareness Week draws public attention to the needs of individuals with eating disorders and encourages early detection and intervention.

Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Individuals with one of the disorders are typically obsessed with food, their body image and/or weight. According to the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. NEDA encourages early diagnosis and treatment in order to increase the likelihood of both physical and emotional recovery. Without treatment the disorder can lead to poor nutrition, impaired cognitive functioning, coexisting mental disorders, and long term medical problems.

The focus of this year’s campaign is "Come as You Are: Hindsight is 20/20” to help individuals reflect on the positive steps they’ve taken---including those stemming from setbacks or challenges---toward accepting themselves and others. To learn more about eating disorders visit www.myNEDA.org or call their confidential helpline at 1- 800-931-2237.

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