Eating disorders highlighted at NEDIC fundraiser

NEDIC Program Coordinator, Suzanne Phillips, talks about the complexity of eating disorders and how support plays a key role in recovery, as NEDICprepares to host its First Annual Fundraiser on February 2, 2012.  Read The Daily Planet's full article here.

By Denee Hall
The Daily Planet, January 30, 2012

The National Eating Disorder Information Centre is hosting its first fundraising event Feb. 2. to promote awareness of eating disorders and self-esteem issues.

“Raising awareness of eating disorders and the self-esteem and body image issues that give rise to them is absolutely critical,” said Merryl Bear, Director of the National Eating Disorder Centre, in a news release.

NEDIC’s fundraiser kicks off Eating Disorder Awareness Week Feb. 5 – 11.

Suzanne Phillips, program coordinator at NEDIC, told the event will create awareness about eating disorders.  The event will also focus on targeting parents and educators.

“Support is key,” said Phillips, “Eating disorders are very complex. Parents are often the first people to notice.”

She said it is important for people with eating disorders to get help.

Image Courtesy: flickr/Courtney Emery. Eating disorders have become the third most chronic illness among adolescent girls.

Patricia Kelly, psychotherapist at New Realities Eating Disorders Recovery Centre in Toronto, said younger people with eating disorders are more difficult to help.

“[Parents] need to listen and try not to control,” said Kelly. She also advises those struggling with an eating disorder to take a look at their own values.

Some psychology counselors said some families dont realize the pressure they are putting on their children to fit a certain body image.

“People often blame the media for portraying this idealized body and that’s true, but you would be surprised to know how many girls are pressured by their own families to lose weight; and that’s the most devastating and salient kind,” said Sabrina McHugh, a graduate student in Counselling Psychology at McGill University.

“It is so important to be sensitive about what we say. Even a joke can be devastating,” she said.

According to the Eating Disorder Awareness Coalition, 27 per cent of Ontario girls 12-18 years old were reported to be engaged in severely problematic behaviour.

The EDAC also states a significant amount of both males (25 per cent) and female (30 per cent) children, as young as 10-14 years, are dieting to lose weight despite being within a healthy weight range.

The NEDIC fundraiser event will be held at the Thompson Landry Gallery in Toronto.

Tickets can be purchased online for $200 each.