Then I found out that we are currently in the middle of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 24th-March 1st). What a fitting kick-off.
The key message for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2008 – “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” – ties into NEDA's signature event, the Great Jeans Giveaway.
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week highlights the fact that body size and shape are strongly influenced by biological factors – such as genetics, while also calling attention to some of the new discoveries surrounding the role of genetics in the development of eating disorders.
Too often individuals struggle against their natural, genetically influenced size just to fit into that pair of “skinny jeans” in the back of their closets. Fighting your natural size and shape can lead to unhealthy dieting practices, poor body image and sometimes eating disorders.
While you can adopt a healthy lifestyle and aim to be fit for your particular body type, you cannot change your genes. We want everyone to start feeling comfortable in their genes by wearing comfortable jeans. The Great Jeans Giveaway events empower individuals to donate old (or new) pairs of jeans that do not comfortably fit.
While key messaging focuses on helping individuals feel at ease with their natural size, the use of the word “genes” within the message also provides a foundation for addressing the fact that eating disorders are serious illnesses, not choices. Everyday, researchers are discovering more about the influence of genetics on eating disorders and finding that while environmental factors may pull the trigger, genetics loads the gun.