Nine Truths about Eating Disorders

“Nine Truths” is based on Dr. Cynthia Bulik’s 2014 “9 Eating Disorders Myths Busted” talk at the National Institute of Mental Health Alliance for Research Progress meeting.

Eating Disorder Truths

Truth #1: Many people with eating disorders look healthy, yet may be extremely ill.

Truth #2: Families are not to blame, and can be the patients’ and providers’ best allies in treatment.

Truth #3: An eating disorder diagnosis is a health crisis that disrupts personal and family functioning.

Truth #4: Eating disorders are not choices, but serious biologically influenced illnesses.

Truth #5: Eating disorders affect people of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic statuses.

Truth #6: Eating disorders carry an increased risk for both suicide and medical complications.

Truth #7: Genes and environment play important roles in the development of eating disorders.

Truth #8: Genes alone do not predict who will develop eating disorders.

Truth #9: Full recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Early detection and intervention are important.

Produced in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Bulik, PhD, FAED, who serves as distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Professor of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Leading associations in the field of eating disorders also contributed their valuable input:
The Academy for Eating Disorders along with other major eating disorder organizations (Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, Asociacion Mexicana de Trastornos Alimentarios A.C., Binge Eating Disorder Association, Comenzar de Nuevo Foundation, Eating Disorders Coalition for Research,Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation,International Eating Disorder Action,Kantor & Kantor, Middle East Eating Disorders Association, Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, National Association of Men With Eating Disorders, National Eating Disorder Information Centre, National Eating Disorders Association, National Initiative for Eating Disorders,Policy & Action,Project HEAL,Residential Eating Disorders Consortium, Societa Italiana per lo studio dei Disturbi del Comportamento Alimentare, Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders) will be disseminating this document.

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