The mission of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is “to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses – not choices – and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.” (http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/)
This year, the Center for Eating Disorders (CED) celebrated National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by sponsoring three events designed to help educate the community about eating disorders, promote the development of positive body image, and provide families with support in dealing with the stress eating disorders bring to the family.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL. On Sunday, Februray 22nd, CED kicked-off the week with a double screening of the highly-acclaimed documentary, America the Beautiful, which delves into the pressures associated with our country’s obsession with beauty as it is defined by the media, cosmetic and fashion industries. Almost 400 people came out to The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt, to see the film, and to meet it’s writer, producer and director, Darryl Roberts. Roberts engaged the audience in a Question & Answer session following each screening of the film and responded to many of their questions about topics such as his motivation for making the film and the repercussions he faced as a result of exposing the cosmetic companies and other major industries in his film. If you missed the film this weekend, visit http://www.americathebeautifuldoc.com/ for the details and to hear updates about the DVD release!
CED staff with America the Beautiful Director, Darryl Roberts (back row, right)
LOVE YOUR TREE. On Tuesday evening, February 22nd, more than 100 students, teachers and family from across Maryland, gathered to celebrate the artwork submitted as part of The CED’s 3rd annual Love Your Tree poster and body image campaign. Over 180 posters depicting students’ appreciation for their bodies and the theme, “like a tree, my body is…” were displayed in an exhibit and remain up for viewing through March 6th at The Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt. The evening began with a recognition ceremony, during which Suzanne Collins, of WJZ News, gave a special welcome and personal message about the importance of positive body image. Later in the evening, Ms. Collins and CED staff helped to unveil the inspiring artwork of Notre Dame Preparatory school student, Ayana Owens which was chosen to be reproduced and will be utilized to help spread the message about positive body image throughout the year.
High school student, Ayana Owens (left) with her artwork and Julia Andersen, CED Expressive Therapy Coordinator and creator of the Love Your Tree poster and body image campaign
In addition to these exciting events, The Center for Eating Disorders sponsored a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction seminar for families and caregivers of individuals with eating disorders on Thursday, February 24th. Community Outreach Coordinators from the Center also spent the week traveling to colleges and universities providing eating disorder and body image education to students and faculty.
The Center for Eating Disorders is committed to eating disorder awareness and prevention efforts throughout the year. If your school or organization is interested in hosting a presentation about eating disorders and/or body image please call (410) 427-3886 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.