Hospital informs the public about eating disorders - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Hospital informs the public about eating disorders

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and organizations across the country are working to bring information about eating disorders to the forefront.

Cristina Shaw, Coordinator for eating disorders at St. Bernards hospital, says they are hoping to raise awareness with Region 8 residents in a symposium held at Arkansas State University on Tuesday.

"We are covering how to recognize an eating disorder, what are the signs and symptoms, how to get help for yourself or a loved one and how to talk to a loved one about your concerns. Also, just raising overall awareness about the impact of eating disorders in our community and on a national level."

Shaw says people often misunderstand what an eating disorder is and what it isn't.

"An eating disorder is not a diet that's gone wrong. It's when things get to the point that your overly preoccupied with food, weight, shape and size to the point that these thoughts consume most of your thoughts throughout the day. Eventually an eating disorder can interfere with your vocational functioning, educational functioning and also your social relationships with your friends and family. People sometimes believe that if the individual with an eating disorder would eat better then everything would be okay. What a lot of people don't realize is it's not just as simple as changing your diet, eating more or eating less. "

Shaw says they wanted to get as many people involved as possible and worked with the Greek organizations at ASU.

"We hope that by holding the symposium at ASU in conjunction with the Greek organizations, we can get the word out to better learn to recognize the symptoms and how to talk to a loved one if you're concerned that they are suffering from an eating disorder."

Shaw says the major target age for eating disorders is fourteen to twenty-four.

If you look at the national statistics an individual is more likely to die from an eating disorder at these ages than all other causes of death.

"Approximately ten million American women suffer from anorexia and bulimia. But close to one million men also suffer from anorexia and bulimia. A lot of people don't realize that eating disorders can also impact men."

For more information about this program or any others, you can log onto their website.

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