World Eating Disorders Action Day 2021
Author: Breanna Mills R.D.
This year marks the sixth annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, celebrated on June 2. This year the theme is #Equity4EatingDisorders. This day aims to unite people across the world who are affected by eating disorders and those support those affected. The goal of this movement is to raise awareness regarding eating disorders and how they can affect anyone and advocate for eating disorders.
The 2021 theme is #Equity4EatingDisorders. The organizers describe this as equity in addressing and treating all forms of eating disorders, equity in funding and research, equity in access for treatment and equity for marginalized or under represented groups. Worldwide, it is estimated that over 70 million people are affected by an eating disorder and eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ability, and background. Although eating disorders affect many people throughout the world, recovery from an eating disorder is possible. One of the aims of World Eating Disorders Action Day is to lobby for action from governments and leaders in hopes of increased training in eating disorders for health care workers, further availability of evidence-based treatment and to help support care givers.
World Eating Disorders Action Day has identified nine goals for taking action against eating disorders:
We call for all front line providers (including pediatricians, primary care doctors, dentists, emergency room and school health providers) to be educated in the identification, diagnosis and referral to appropriate services of eating disorders.
We call for accessible and affordable evidence-based treatment, with early diagnosis and intervention a priority.
We call for public education about eating disorders to be accurate, research based, readily available and geared to end stigma about eating disorders.
We call for an end to mandatory weighing and BMI screening in schools, and development of evidence-based health programs.
We call for increased awareness of diversity in eating disorders, as eating disorders affect a wide cross section of the world’s population, including people of all ages, sizes, weights, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, nationalities, and documentation status.
We call for community and family eating disorders treatment support programmes to be available for all.
We call for research-based interventions to be delivered in schools and universities on the facts about eating disorders, and how peers and staff can best support patients and families during treatment.
We call for government agencies to include eating disorders services as part of health systems, public education campaigns, and regulatory bodies.
We call for the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization to formally recognize June 2 as World Eating Disorders Action Day.
One easy way to support World Eating Disorders Action Day is to talk about eating disorders. Create an open dialogue with friends, family, colleagues, peers and talk about eating disorders and their impact. You can also follow along on social media by using the hashtags #Equity4EatingDisorders #Showusyourpurple #WorldEDDay2021.
For more information visit http://www.worldeatingdisordersday.org/.