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Eating Disorder Awareness Week

This week is nationally recognized as eating disorder awareness week (February 25th– March 3rd, 2019). Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses that affect an estimated 30 million Americans of all ages, genders, socio-economic status, and ethnicities.  Eating disorders are serious and life-threatening, and of all mental health illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate.

Types of eating disorders include clinical diagnosis: binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, as well as sub-clinical diagnosis: diabulimia, orthorexia, body dysmorphia, exercise addiction, and/or other related issues that impact normative food intake, exercise habits, and regulated body image.  

Currently in the United States, binge eating disorder is more common than breast cancer, HIV, and schizophrenia1 and subclinical eating disorders (including binge eating, purging, laxative abuse, and fasting for weight loss) are nearly as common in males as in females.2 In addition, weight stigma poses a significant threat to psychological and physical health, as it has been documented as a significant risk factor for depression, low self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction.3

Here in Knoxville, both clinical eating disorders and sub-clinical forms of disordered eating are treated by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals at Focus Integrative Centers.  “We take our work very seriously, and that includes advocacy, education, and being a safe and trusted resource for those in our community”, says Dr. Siri Khalsa-Zemel, Executive Director at Focus.  

Download the full media kit for National Eating Disorder Awareness week from www.nationaleatingdisorders.orgor visit the same website to take the Body Acceptance Challenge or view additional research and statistics on eating disorders. 



  1. Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, and Kessler RC. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3):348-58. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040.

  2. Mond, J.M., Mitchison, D., & Hay, P. (2014) “Prevalence and implications of eating disordered behavior in men” in Cohn, L., Lemberg, R. (2014) Current Findings on Males with Eating Disorders. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge.

  3. Andreyeva, T., Puhl, R. M. and Brownell, K. D. (2008), Changes in Perceived Weight Discrimination Among Americans, 1995–1996 Through 2004–2006. Obesity, 16: 1129–1134. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.35