Because eating disorders have a ton of stigma and myths associated with them, we decided to create a blog and respective handout about eating disorder facts and myths. When it comes to assessing and treating eating disorders, having awareness of the facts is key. Having this information allows us to provide our clients with much-needed support.
Many clinicians, physicians, therapists, dietitians, nurses…etc., aren’t properly educated in eating disorders. This results in a lack of training in their respective graduate programs. So, we are tasked with the responsibility of educating ourselves on our own about eating disorders. This is where the Eating Disorder Facts and Myths Fact Sheet comes in.
Two top facts we want you to know about eating disorders are:
1. Eating disorders are incredibly common. Did you know that eating disorders are the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents? As we said earlier, early intervention is key. Doctors should consider screening all adolescents for eating disorder behaviors. Additionally, over 50% (and up to 95%) of people struggling with an eating disorder ALSO struggle with another mental health condition (like anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma…etc.). Consequently, this makes it important for therapists to be screening their clients. Oftentimes, a client may seek out therapy for anxiety, not actually realizing they are also struggling with food.
2. Eating disorders do not discriminate. ANYONE can struggle with an eating disorder. The stereotype that eating disorders affect white, thin, young, women who are of an upper class is incredibly outdated. Eating disorders affect people of any race or ethnicity, age, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and weight. For example, binge eating disorder and “other” eating disorders (like “atypical” anorexia and other specified feeding and eating disorders) are actually the most common eating disorders, not anorexia or bulimia. How a person looks doesn’t show us whether or not a person is struggling with food. So, it’s incredibly important we are assessing ALL of our clients for eating disorders. PS We have a screening tool for doctors and a screening tool for therapists on our resources page.
So, you want to learn more? Our Eating Disorder Fact Sheet has more facts about eating disorders to support you in your practice. First, head to our Eating Disorder Resources for Providers page. Then sign up for our provider newsletter to get access. You’ll get monthly information (think blog posts and handouts) about treating eating disorders.
If you’re looking to refer a client, head to our contact us page. We’d love to answer any questions you may have about a client working with us.
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Helping my clients cultivate meaningful connections and interests outside of their eating disorder is a true passion of mine. I like to think my clients and I are on a team to navigate recovery. I love working with high school and college students as well as athletes seeking to have a better relationship with exercise. I am a proud anti-diet dietitian and work with my clients through a Health At Every Size © and intuitive eating framework.