This week (February 22-28) marks the 28th Annual National Eating Disorder Awareness week (NEDA). Eating disorders affect women and men, young and old, Soldiers and civilians. The severity of eating disorders also varies greatly and we hope that this year’s NEDA helps bring to light Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED) which include feeding and eating disorders that are of clinical severity, but do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for more well-known eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. OSFED’s ultimately affect a higher percentage of the population than full criteria eating disorders. Such disorders are equally as serious as fully diagnosable eating disorders, but often go unrecognized and individuals may suffer for many years before seeking and/or receiving help (or never seek help). These disordered eating behaviors are life altering and need recognition.
This week’s News Roundup brings you a collection of articles and blog posts related to this year’s NEDA.
Facts About Eating Disorders: What The Research Shows. Eating Disorders Coalition. “40.8% of active duty Navy men meet criteria for OSFED; 6.8% suffer from Bulimia Nervosa. 97.5% of active duty female Marines meet criteria for an eating disorder. Prior to entering the Marines, they had no previous history of an eating disorder.”
Raising Eating Disorder Awareness on a Naval Base. National Eating Disorders. “Because eating disorders require treatment by someone trained, it is critical for the military to provide access to care, separate from sending those struggling to a PTSD specialist or alcoholic anonymous group. It is also extremely important that service members can let their command know they are suffering, just like anyone with the above disorders, without fear of being kicked out of the service.”
Eating disorders fairly rare among troops, study finds. Air Force Times. “Yet, according to the recent AFHSC report, diagnoses of these disorders among service members remain low overall. AFHSC researchers said the discrepancy could be the result of patients avoiding medical care for their disorder because they don’t think they have a problem, are embarrassed, or worry that it would jeopardize their military careers. But the number of diagnoses also could be low because personnel policies ban those previously diagnosed with the condition from serving in the military — and many of these disorders begin in early adolescence, officials said.”
Help for Service Members and Their Families. MentalHealth.gov. This site offers a multitude of resources for service members and their families who are battling eating disorders.