With the world going on and on about the planet’s obesity problem, it would seem like that was the most important health issues we’re facing. And that seems like tough luck for those unfortunate among us that are suffering from eating disorders. The issue hasn’t been rally approached in a while, which is why it’s so important to have the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. During this year’s edition, experts in the field will showcase new procedures thought to help with eating disorders.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week
Despite the fact that most cases of eating disorders remain unreported – either due to a perceived stigma or simply due to nobody noticing – as many as 30 million Americans are believed to suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at one point or another in their lives.
As expected, the two genders suffer from the mental affliction by a rate of 2:1, with 20 million women believed to be suffering from the disease right now. To further the dangers, anorexia nervosa has the absolute highest mortality of all the mental illnesses, including depression.
Since it’s so vital to identify and to help the victims of these afflictions, the state declared the last week of February to be the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Running through Saturday, the event will take place at multiple venues around the country, with clinics, schools, community centers and work places doing the best they can to raise awareness about the disorders.
Techniques and procedures
First of all, anybody can use an anonymous online tool to see if they happen to be suffering from any of the conditions. This is important because self-diagnosis is often extremely difficult, if not impossible. You can find two of the aforementioned screening tools here and here.
Second of all, laboratory tests performed by experts using brain imaging and the role of hormones and stress on eating behaviors finally yielded results. One of the most major changes involves the amount of of weight a person suffering from anorexia can regain in one week.
Previous studies showed that it is not safe to regain more than two pounds a week; the new procedures and techniques, however, can lead to twice that amount, basically doubling the physical recovery time. The psychological issues still have to be taken care of separately.
For this, the experts mostly suggest group therapy, which is an ideal way to approach these issues. By getting support from other sufferers which have already gone through the worst part of their experience can drastically help and inspire eating disorder victims, similarly to how AA meetings work.
Image source: Flickr