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Campaign raises awareness for National Eating Disorder Week

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With the Grammy Awards and Academy Awards this month, it might be challenging to love your body just the way it is. It’s human nature to compare yourself to celebrities and people with power and fame, even if it’s not realistic or beneficial.

But don’t forget that National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb. 24, 2013 to March 2, 2013. This week is a reminder that you are fine just the way you are, and you are not alone.

Many other people have the same insecurities, and some people even develop eating disorders, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Poor body image and low self esteem can be major contributing factors to eating disorders, so it’s important to stop comparing yourself negatively to others and start loving yourself completely.

“The aim of NED Awareness Week is to ultimately increase outreach and awareness of eating disorders and body image issues, while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment resources,” according to the official website.

“Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses – not choices – and it's important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.”

Lynn Grefe, the president and CEO of National Eating Disorders Association, said in an email that although the theme for this year’s awareness week is the same as last year’s, “Everybody Knows Somebody,” this year is more focused on “diversity in the population” instead of last year’s focus on people’s individual roles (mother, sibling, father, etc.).

“We are working very hard to stress that eating disorders know no boundaries,” Grefe said.

During this week, the National Eating Disorders Association also partnered with Screening for Mental Health, Inc., to create the website www.mybodyscreening.org/, which allows people to take free and anonymous self-assessments to find out if they might have an eating disorder.

Grefe said that in the past year, there have been some specific advances in body image and eating disorder awareness.