Editorial: Eating disorders can affect anyone

There are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating.

They can affect anyone and have varying degrees of consequences. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, as many as 10 per cent of people with anorexia die as a result of health problems associated with the disease.

Fingers are pointed in many directions when it comes to discussing the issue of eating disorders.

Media, the modelling industry, society as a whole (particularly Western society) are all blamed, for pressuring everyone into the mindset that looking good means looking thin.

Certainly, there are messages being delivered through various sources that impact the way we feel about ourselves. However, eating disorders are a mental health issue, and when it comes to mental health, while there can be many contributing factors, pinpointing blame is not possible.

The problems start from within. People with low self-esteem are particularly at risk.

The blame game will always be played, but it rarely serves a constructive purpose, and this issue is no different in that regard.

The key to addressing a suspected eating disorder with a loved one is to do just that – address it.

Sweeping such a disorder under the proverbial rug does no good, and can do a lot of damage. Rarely will anyone afflicted with an eating disorder simply “work their own way through it.” They need help, and the importance of support from those closest to them cannot be overstated.

The CMHA offers many useful tips on how to help a loved one. They include:

• Remember that eating disorders are a sign of much bigger problems. Avoid focusing on food or eating habits alone.

• Be mindful of your own attitudes and behaviours around food and body image.

• Never force someone to change their eating habits or trick someone into changing.

• Consider family counselling.

Feb. 1-7 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Take some time to discuss the issue with your children, your spouse, your siblings, even your parents. Eating disorders can affect anyone.


Just Posted

A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq among artists featured in Indigenous music film

When They Awake coming to Stan Hagen Theatre for one night

CVRD moves to goal-setting stage for sewer service plan

Workshops planned for next week in Comox and Courtenay

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

Comox connection to launch of new $10 bill

Great nephew of Viola Desmond says bill is a ‘step in the right direction’

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read