By Caroline Christian- Second Year Graduate Student
There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about eating disorders in our society, which can make it difficult to get accurate information about what eating disorders are, and what they look like. Stigma, stereotypes, and poor communication from eating disorder specialists have led to a lack of awareness of the reality of eating disorders. Getting educated about eating disorders can help one learn how to best support a loved one with an eating disorder, help individuals stay motivated in recovery, or help with speaking out against institutions and policies that are harmful for individuals with eating disorders. Here I provide and discuss some statistics and facts about eating disorders based on empirical research, both in the United States broadly, and in my home state of Kentucky.
Eating disorders (and disordered eating) are prevalent.
Eating disorders are (increasingly) prevalent in adolescents.
Eating disorders are chronic.
Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other mental and physical health problems.
Eating disorders are difficult to treat.
Eating disorders are underfunded.
Eating disorders are a silent epidemic in Kentucky crucially in need of resources.
These statistics and facts reflect the rather bleak current state of eating disorders. But there is hope! If you are feeling helpless or pessimistic about eating disorders, there are things you can do to help change enact positive change!