Eating disorders come in many forms and affect men and women of all ages and races

A panel discussion on eating disorders is coming up next week at the Women's Contact cntre in WilliamsLake.

By Robyn Rekunyk

As so many of us are unaware of the fact that February is a month dedicated to National Eating Disorder Awareness, I have decided to take the last week of February and create some awareness around this serious issue in Williams Lake.

It is an illness that affects more people than you would think.

It’s not a disease that only affects young women as most commonly thought.

Eating disorders are very common in boys, to men, to girls, to women of all ages and races.

An eating disorder can begin at any time in a persons life.

There is no one reason why an eating disorder begins.

Have you ever looked in a mirror and not liked what you’ve seen?

You are not alone.

Maybe your body has not changed, but your perception has.

I believe that media literacy plays a big part in how we as a society view ourselves, our bodies and what we should strive to look like.

When our measures of beauty are these pin thin supermodels and men with chiseled abs and massive bi-ceps we will go to dangerous lengths to achieve these media generated images.

These lengths can include binge eating, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and many other sub type eating disorders.

This can also include excessive amounts of exercise which is a sub-type eating disorder referred to as bulimia exercise.

There are many types of eating disorders and they are all equally dangerous.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

Only one in 10 people with an eating disorder will receive treatment.

The average treatment for an eating disorder can range from $500 to $2,000 per day. Three to six months is the average time for inpatient care.

The cost of outpatient treatment is also very high.

This can be as costly as $100,000 per year, including medical monitoring and therapy.

On top of being a very costly illness to treat, eating disorders are a very shame-based illness/addiction that are just not talked about.

Because it is becoming more and more common in our society the need for help and resources is in a greater demand.

If this article has struck any interest for you please feel free to come and listen to a panel discussion at the Womens Contact Society in the boardroom on Thursday Feb. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The topic will be based around media literacy and the impact it has on society and how it leads to eating disorders.

This event is open to anyone and free of charge.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Robyn at the Womens Contact Society 250-392-4118.


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