February 1st – 7th is Eating Disorders Awareness week. Eating disorders affect nearly a million people in Canada alone and statistically we all know at least one person who suffers from an eating disorder – even though we may not know it as it is called “the silent disease”.
Eating disorders go way beyond trying to lose weight and look skinny. It may start out that way but can quickly spiral into a psychological issue which requires professional support from a psychologist and medical doctor. It is not something to take lightly. Many eating disorder patients endure life-long symptoms from the disease or even death.
Eating disorders most often begin in adolescence. The best thing a parent can do for their child to help avoid this disease is to affirm their child’s worth verbally and model healthy behaviours. Often if a child has an overweight parent, they swear they will never be overweight and become obsessive with weight-loss. Or on the other end of the spectrum, a child may have a parent that is so concerned about their own weight they inadvertently pass that obsessiveness to their children. The best remedy and way to avoid eating disorders in our children is to take our own health seriously.
If you, your child or someone you love suffers from an eating disorder please take it seriously and bring them to help or bring help to them. Often eating disorder patients (9 out of 10) do not tell anyone nor do they want anyone to know they have an eating disorder.
Here is a good Canadian resource for those with eating disorders or for those that want more information: http://nedic.ca/about/what-we-do
To your health, wholeness and happiness,