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Nine Truths About Eating Disorders

The Academy for Eating For Eating Disorders, a group of professionals to which I belong, produced nine truths about eating disorders. In sum, these truths can be helpful to the public in order to gain an understanding of people who struggle with eating issues.


Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.


Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.


Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.


Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.


Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.


Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.


Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.


Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.


Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.


--- Produced in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, who serves as distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Nine Truths” is based on Dr. Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health. Leading associations in the field of eating disorders also contributed their valuable input.The Academy for Eating Disorders along with other major eating disorder organizations (Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, National Eating Disorders Association, The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation, Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, Multi- Service Eating Disorders Association, Binge Eating Disorder Association, Eating Disorder Parent Support Group, International Eating Disorder Action, Project HEAL, and Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders) will be disseminating this document.

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