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It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Today kicks off Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW), a time to increase social consciousness about eating disorders and to offer hope and support to those impacted by them. Think for a moment, and be honest: if you imagine a person with an eating disorder (ED), who do you see? Media has long focused on thin-bodied, young, caucasian cisgender-women and girls who restrict and purge. But the many types of eating disorders, which impact 1/10 people in their lifetime, do not discriminate.

Eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and more. Their symptoms vary widely, and each can create profound physical, emotional and psychological impacts for those who have them and their loved ones. Unfortunately many people, especially those who don’t match the popular image of an eating disorder patient, go unseen and untreated.

Did you know:

  • 96% of people with eating disorders are not considered underweight. 

  • 25-40% of all people suffering from an ED are cisgender men and boys. 

  • Nonbinary and trans folks are 4x more likely to have an eating disorder. 

  • Black women are 25% as likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder than white women when reporting the exact same eating behaviors. 

  • Doctors are more likely to encourage high weight patients with EDs to restrict their food intake than they are to screen for the eating disorder. 

  • Women who diet moderately are 5x more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who do not diet. Severe dieters face 18x more risk.

  • Someone in the U.S. dies from an eating disorder every 52 minutes.  

With widespread stereotypes, misconceptions and inequities, it is no surprise that 75-90% of people with eating disorders never receive treatment. How can we prevent eating disorders, and help those who need care access potentially lifesaving services? That is a big question, but as a starting point for this week, consider these resources to help you, your loved ones and your communities. 

  • The National Eating Disorders Association created graphics to share on social media or within your communities to raise awareness this week. 

  • The Renfrew Center has free virtual events for community members this week (empowering recovery workshop, yoga and art groups, etc.)

  • Project HEAL has a list of free ED support groups for a variety of needs. They aim to break down barriers for folks healing from eating disorders.

  • Research shows that yoga-based interventions may effectively support the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. Local folks struggling with body acceptance might explore weekly More To Love Yoga classes.

  • As always, feel free to discuss food and body image concerns with your therapist and/or ask for information about other appropriate supports. 

  • Call 877-275-5909 or text NEDA to 741471 for the NEDA Info and Referral Helpline, available Mon–Thurs 9 AM-9 PM and Friday 9 AM-5 PM, except on some holidays. If you leave a message, they will return your call.  

Note: Data and statistics were gathered from Project Heal, ANAD, and NEDA.

This month Looking Glass Counseling is proud to support Community Cooks. Community Cooks is a Somerville based non-profit organization that identifies human service agencies (from domestic violence support programs and homeless shelters to after-school programs, a drop-in center for street-involved youth and more) in need of food support for their clients. They recruit and connect volunteers to meet those needs and coordinate 85 cooking teams, each providing a monthly home cooked family-style meal to an assigned local partner agency.


Lauren Chase, is a clinical social work student in her final year of graduate school at Boston College. As an intern therapist, she is grateful to offer financially accessible care for those seeking therapy without insurance benefits. With an integrative and intuitive approach, Lauren draws from person-centered therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, emotionally focused therapy, somatic practices and mindfulness. She prioritizes building genuine, empathetic therapeutic relationships with clients from a diversity of backgrounds. Lauren is interested in working with clients struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD and identity issues.

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