Eating disorders silently killing America

Jess Parry, Staff member

An estimated 30 million Americans are currently struggling with some form of eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (NAANAD).

Possibly more troubling, a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that the mortality rate of anorexia is higher than any other mental illness. Not only that, but that mortality rate is 12 times higher than the rates associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old, according to NAANAD.

NAANAD reports that 91 percent of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through forms of dieting. As that percentage rises each year, raising awareness for eating disorders is crucial to ceasing this upward trend and working towards a decline.

Realization and discussion of toxic societal standards are important methods of combating the real causes of eating disorders. It is also important to know what treatment is available, and how and where to get it.

Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists (EDRS) is the first in-home and community based eating disorder recovery support program. They organize meal planning, cooking, and clinical coaching for their clients.

Most recent to their list of services is the College Companion program.

The co-founder of the concierge service EDRS, Greta Gleisner, is a psychotherapist, and bulimia survivor. In speaking of the company’s mission statement, she said, “We can come to or near students’ campus to provide support and accountability for anything related to recovery— that could be having a meal companion at the dining hall, dorm room, or restaurant so that students have support around completing their nutritional goals. Or it could be in the form of in-person, phone, or text support, helping clients to execute daily recovery goals.”

Organizations like EDRS hope to put the spotlight on the seriousness of eating disorders and to improve public understanding of their causes, triggers and treatments.