Huron County, ON – Who gets eating disorders? How do you know if you have an eating disorder? Where can you get help?
The National Eating Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC) recognizes the first week of February as Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The Huron County Health Unit reminds residents that eating disorders can affect anyone at any size.
“You can’t tell by looking at someone whether they have an eating disorder,” says Amy MacDonald, Public Health Dietitian. “When you think of eating disorders, you may think of individuals with thin physiques or hair loss. But over 1 million Canadians of all genders, ages, body size, classes, abilities, races, and ethnic backgrounds are affected by eating disorders.”
Does food and weight control your life? If the way you eat and think about food interferes with your life and keeps you from enjoying life and moving forward, then that is disordered eating. Take it seriously and talk to someone who can help. You don’t need to wait for a diagnosis by a doctor.
“It’s important to know that if you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, it’s not your fault,” says MacDonald. “Eating disorders are a mental illness, influenced by both our genes and our environment. Sometimes they can be brought on by poor body image or past traumas.”
With treatment from a health care provider, and support of family and loved ones, full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. If you or a loved one is in need, NEDIC has a toll-free helpline at 1-866-633-4220. For local support, contact the Huron Outreach Eating Disorders Program, an outpatient mental health program of Alexandra Marine & General Hospital, at 1-877-695-2524.
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