National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2024

By Ashley Barnes, M.S.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

NEDA Week is an initiative taken by a non-profit organization called the National Eating Disorders Association. NEDA devotes their work to preventing and raising awareness about eating disorders, as well as providing resources to those in need.

National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) week “is an annual campaign to educate the public about the realities of eating disorders and to provide hope, support, and visibility to individuals and loved ones affected by eating disorders… NEDA week 2024 is an opportunity to center education about eating disorders which is critical for raising awareness, early detection, and access to quality care” (NEDA, 2024). In 2024, NEDA week will take place on Monday, February 26 through Sunday, March 3. 

Eating Disorders

As defined by the American Psychiatric Association, eating disorders are “behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions” that can be “very serious conditions affecting physical, psychological and social function” (2021). 

The diagnostic statistical manual recognizes the following eating disorders which entail their own specific criteria: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder, pica, and rumination disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). 

It is estimated that around 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives (NEDA, 2021). 

Research and academic pursuits to identify reasons behind eating disorders suggest a combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors that contribute to their development. Identified biological risk factors include having a close relative with an eating disorder or mental health condition, history of dieting, having a negative energy balance (burning more calories than you take in), and type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes; identified psychological risk factors include perfectionism, body image dissatisfaction, personal history of an anxiety disorder, and behavioral inflexibility; identified sociocultural risk factors include weight stigma, teasing or bullying, acculturation to Westernized culture (which emphasizes strict body image ideals), limited social networks, and historical of trauma (NEDA, 2018).

How to Observe NEDA Week.

  • Offer help:
    • Perhaps there is someone you know who is suffering from an eating disorder. Offer resources or support in seeking professional help. This lets the person know that they are not alone and that there is help available.
  • Share your story:
    • If you are a survivor of an eating disorder and feel comfortable sharing your story, it can inspire others to seek help. Oftentimes, people who have eating disorders feel alone in their struggle, often leading to isolation. Hearing stories of hope and recovery can help catalyze the process of recovery for others.
  • Educate others about eating disorders:
    • Knowledge is power. Educate friends, family, and other people in your life about eating disorders and ways to recover.

Let Us Support You!

Because of the ways in which eating disorders can greatly affect individuals lives, it is critical to be connected with professional support in the form of mental health professionals and other health professionals. 

Psychiatrists and psychotherapists can provide medication management services as well as psychotherapeutic support. Seeing a registered dietitian can also be helpful in providing education on meal planning and nutrition in a safe, healthy way. Because many eating disorders also impact dental health, scheduling dental checkups is also recommended. 

Having parents or other family members actively involved in treatment can be helpful as well, especially for young individuals still living at home. There may be times when a medical professional may suggest inpatient treatment centers for those struggling with eating disorders. 

At the Mental Health Center, we work with psychiatrists who are knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. Many of these psychiatrists have ongoing relationships with wonderful eating disorder treatment facilities.

Please contact the Mental Health Center today to be connected to doctors who can help treat eating disorders with kindness and expertise!



American Psychiatric Association. (2021). What are eating disorders? Retrieved February 2, 2024, from 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

National Eating Disorders Association. (2021). NEDA. Retrieved February 2, 2024, from 

National Eating Disorders Association. (2018). Risk factors. Retrieved February 2, 2024, from