As a job candidate, it is unfortunate but appearance does have an integral part in decising making. How your are dressed for a job interview is taken into consideration when evaluating you for a position. But even, height, weight issues under and over may cause a question concerning the quality of your health. Do you have a serious eating disorder that can affect your job, building new relationships and of course other health issues as a result. How will this affect your insurance if you hire someone who may have a serious condition.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is launching its 28th annual National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (NEDAwareness Week), Feb. 22-28, in an annual campaign to bring public attention to the critical needs of people with eating disorders and their families.
In order to improve public understanding of eating disorders and correct common myths, this year’s campaign, themed I Had No Idea …, will focus on the importance of recognizing the diverse experiences of people affected by disordered eating.
From Feb. 22-28, each day will focus on a different challenge: 1) the role of the media 2) diversity 3) athletes 4) bullying and eating disorders in youth 5) dieting and eating disorders 6) the role of the medical community 7) the role of parents
I had no idea …
· … that the perfect images I see every day are digital illusions.
In our media-saturated culture, it is hard to escape the onslaught of messages about our bodies. Eating disorders are complex illnesses with complex roots. We can’t blame the media, but we do know that this steady stream of unrealistic ideals and digital illusions of “perfection” creates an environment where eating disorders and poor body image thrive. Of U.S. elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight (Martin, 2010). One study followed adolescent girls on the island of Fiji before and after the introduction of television in the mid ’90s, finding a direct correlation to girls’ interest in dieting after exposure to western pro-thin messages and Hollywood celebrities.
· … that eating disorders don’t discriminate.
There are many stereotypes about what a person with an eating disorder looks like, but the truth is that these illnesses do not discriminate. Men and women of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, sizes, and sexualities are susceptible to poor body image and disordered eating. While women are more commonly affected by eating disorders, 10 million men and boys will battle some form of the illness at some point in their lifetime and, due in large part to stereotypes and cultural bias, males are much less likely to seek treatment. Similarly, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication found no difference in eating disorder prevalence among adults across racial and ethnic groups (Hudson, Hiripi, et al. 2007). Yet minorities are significantly less likely to receive help. And despite the damaging assumptions that eating disorders are a “teenager’s problem,” recent research shows that rates of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction among older populations are on the rise. Research also suggests that eating disorders disproportionately impact some segments of LGBT populations. In addition to experiencing unique contributing factors, LGBT people may also face challenges for accessing treatment and support due to discrimination (Feldman & Meyer, 2007).
· … that my passion had become a problem.
Body image problems, disordered eating and full-blown eating disorders are common among athletes—especially those competing in sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, gymnastics and running. In a study of NCAA Division 1 athletes, over 1/3 of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa (Johnson, Powers, et al, 1999). In weight-class and aesthetic sports, about 33% of males and up to 62% of females are affected by an eating disorder (Thompson, PhD. 2010).
· … that bullying can trigger disordered eating.
While eating disorders may first appear to be solely about food and weight preoccupations, those who struggle with them are often using their disordered eating to cope with feelings and emotions that may otherwise seem overwhelming. Bullying can trigger feelings of shame, isolation and hopelessness and be a trigger for eating disorders. As many as 65% of people with an eating disorder said that bullying contributed to their condition (b-EAT). Unfortunately, weight discrimination occurs more frequently than age or gender discrimination.
· … that my quest for health was making me sick.
Americans get many mixed messages about health—and many are far from healthy. Our national fixation on weight loss has resulted in $61 billion in profits for the diet industry, whose products and weight loss plans are often the catalyst to an eating disorder. Research shows that 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting and of those, 20-25% continue on to develop partial or full-syndrome eating disorders (Shisslak, Crago, & Estes, 1995). All too often, the drive for thinness begins early in a person’s life. 46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets (Gustafson-Larson & Terry, 1992) and 35-57% of adolescent girls engage in crash dieting, fasting, self-induced vomiting, diet pills, or laxatives (Boutelle, Neumark-Sztainer, et al. 2002; Neumark-Sztainer & Hannan, 2001; Wertheim et al., 2009).
· … that eating disorders are often misdiagnosed or overlooked.
Physicians and medical professionals can play an integral role in educating and assisting individuals who may be struggling with eating disorders or at risk for developing these illnesses. Due to a lack of education about the complexities of eating disorders and the range of behaviors and symptoms associated with them, physicians often overlook warning signs or misdiagnose eating disorders. These mistakes take a toll. More than 2/3 of youth with an eating disorder have not received treatment. Without education, physicians may miss an opportunity to stabilize a condition until appropriate treatment can be arranged.
· … that eating disorders aren’t just “a phase.”
Parents do not cause eating disorders. But they are in a unique position to help identify eating disorders early, seek professional help and support a child through the recovery process. It is also important to note that eating disorders are not a choice – they are not “just a phase” or an attention-seeking behavior. Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses that are best treated with a support system that includes the family. Parents also need to practice self-care when caring for a loved one. Recovery is possible, but it can be a trying experience for both the individual and their family members.
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), headquartered in New York City, is the leading U.S. non-profit organization supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. NEDA serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Each year, NEDA helps millions of people across the country find information and appropriate treatment resources through its toll-free, live helpline, its many outreach programs and website. NEDA advocates for advancements in the field and envisions a world without eating disorders. For more information, visit www.MyNEDA.org