Eating Disorder Awareness Campaigns

There are several ways to get involved with eating disorder advocacy efforts. Celebrating International No Diet Day and Eating Disorder Awareness Week can be a way to get involved.

International No Diet Day (INDD)

International No Diet Day (INDD) was founded by Mary Evans Young of DietBreakers in England. INDD has become a widely used opportunity for health-care educators to challenge unfounded beliefs around food and weight issues, and to encourage healthy lifestyles for individuals, regardless of size and weight.

When is it?

It is now celebrated across Canada and internationally on May 6 of each year. 

The goals of the day are to:

  • Declare a moratorium on diet/weight obsession.
  • Increase public awareness of the dangers and futility of dieting.
  • Celebrate the beauty and diversity or our natural sizes and shapes.
  • Affirm everybody's right to health, fitness and emotional well-being.
  • Educate the public with the facts about weight-loss dieting, health and body-size.
  • Increase public awareness of damage done to physical, emotional and financial health by society's obsession with thinness.
  • Honour the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss interventions.
  • Help change the prejudice with which fat people are perceived and treated.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW)

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) is an annual effort by groups across Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Australasia to increase awareness and educate the public on the relationship between dieting, body dissatisfaction and eating disorders. 


When is it?

In Canada, EDAW is February 1st through 7th.

The goals of EDAW are to:

  • Reduce the prevalence of anorexia, bulimia, dieting and body image problems through a public education program emphasizing social factors causing their development.
  • Provide information on eating disorders, dieting and weight preoccupation, emphasizing social factors and dispelling common myths.
  • Launch a national media campaign designed to heighten awareness of EDAW and to make connections between eating disorders and body image problems experienced by most women.
  • Advocate for widespread changes in social attitudes.
  • Encourage individuals with eating disorders and their families to acknowledge the problem, to encourage and direct them to appropriate resources, and to provide them with information and support.
  • Educate professionals on the importance of primary and secondary prevention, and to provide professional development for healthcare workers, counsellors and therapists.
  • Make governments aware of the need for additional funding for health promotion, primary prevention and treatment programs.
  • Celebrate the diversity of body sizes and shapes of all people.

Click here to view this year's campaign. 

Past EDAW Campaigns

  • The campaign for 2023, Transforming the Narrative from Asks to Action, aims to help people understand the connection between Eating Disorders and other co-occurring conditions or intersections of disadvantage (e.g., mental health conditions, trauma, systemic issues), and to help people take action to support people affected. 

  • The campaign for 2022, Everyone has a role to play, aims to recognize that we all have a role to play in Eating Disorder prevention and recovery. Depending on who we are in a person's life, the specifics of that role might differ. We've created three tools to help you figure out the role you can play as you support yourself or someone else. 

  • The campaign for 2021 builds on the previous year's theme, “Eating Disorders Can’t Afford to Wait”, asking, “What happened while we waited?” as the primary message for 2021. We believe that this is a way for us to talk about all of the nuances of this time — the negative and positive implications of the pandemic — while also holding space for those who have been waiting for a long time for the care they deserve. 

  • In 1986, around 40 people gathered from across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to talk about organizing an international Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW).

    NEDIC became the national coordinator for EDAW in 1988. During this time, various eating disorder advocacy groups, professionals, and treatment programs in Canada began to recognize it annually during the first week of February. Through the collaborative efforts of community-based eating disorders groups across the country, EDAW eventually gained official recognition in municipalities, provinces, and territories. Over the years, proclamations have been made in the Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland & Labrador. 

    For many years, EDAW focused on the message, “Celebrating our natural sizes”. As we approached the mid-2010s, the annual steering committees diversified the campaign’s themes and activities. 

    Past themes included:

    • Talking Saves Lives: The unexpected victims of eating disorders (2013)
    • It’s not our bodies that need changing. It’s our attitudes (2014)
    • Research Suggests That Eating Disorders Are More Common Than Previously Thought (2015)
    • Eating Disorders Can and Do Affect Anyone (2016)
    • Eating Disorders Are Not a Choice (2017)
    • One Size Doesn’t Fit All (2018)
    • Eating Disorders Can’t Afford to Wait (2019 & 2020)

    EDAW activities have traditionally included but has not been limited to the dissemination of educational materials, advocacy initiatives, panel discussions, arts-based community events, community chats on Twitter, community rooms held virtually via Zoom, and lighting up monuments (#ShowUsYourPurple).