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Friday 15 June 2012

The 1 in 20 Project.

Carrie Arnold, of the excellent ed bites is starting a campaign to raise the profile of just how common eating disorders are.

The statistics are very scary:

Each year, roughly 4 million babies are born in America.
Approximately 500,000 of these babies will develop an eating disorder.
Every year has 525,600 minutes.
That means that every 1.05 minutes, a child will be diagnosed with an eating disorder.
Every minute, a parent will be told "Your child has an eating disorder."

So next time someone tells you that an eating disorder is very rare, tell them they are wrong.  Eating disorders are not rare.  

They are deadly.

But not rare.

(Please share the graphic

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous15 June, 2012

    Hmm, I have a number of problems with the National Co-morbidity Survey, from which the data are derived; the main one being that the data were obtained retrospectively, using an unvalidated interview technique.

    I would suggest that the questions on the survey were especially insensitive/imprecise for the detection of AN: e.g. "Was there ever a time in your life when you had a great deal of concern about or strongly feared being too fat or overweight?". I would have thought that many healthy non-eating disordered people would answer 'yes' to that question. Similarly, for BN. Lots of people over-eat, but they don't have an illness. They merely live in a society that encourages over-eating and obesity, due to the fact that highly palatable, high-energy foods are readily available.

    The data from the National Co-morbidity Survey would suggest that many people 'recover' from the 'disorder' without help, which might suggest that they merely experienced transient disordered eating at some point in their life that didn't need treating.

    The problem with exaggerating the statistics about a disease to draw attention to it is that it has the potential to lead to those people who really have the disease going without recognition and treatment because they’re merely lumped together with milder cases - that represent 'normality' and do not need specialist treatment.

    I know I have harped on about this elsewhere, but I actually feel strongly that such a campaign is not a good idea. It pathologises/medicalises normal behaviour and has the potential to dilute the severe EDs that need treating.

    What would the campaign actually achieve? What is the point of it? These things are unclear to me.