In order to raise awareness about the impact of eating disorders in our society, we need to increase our education and understanding of those disorders and their causes. The communication, promotion, prevention, early intervention and management of eating disorders must be enhanced in both the general community and in those working in the health, fitness, education and media sectors.
Research has shown that having the correct information and gaining the right education about eating disorders can help prevent an eating disorder from developing. Being informed can also ease the suffering of a person in the early stages of the illness and can reduce the stigma and misconceptions that often surround those who suffer from eating disorders.
A person who has an eating disorder (or is at risk of developing an eating disorder) can often feel high levels of shame, embarrassment, confusion and denial. As a result, that person may need guidance and support from those around them to take the first steps towards preventing or treating their illness.
It is therefore of great importance that parents, teachers, healthcare workers, sport and fitness coaches, government departments and media associations seek to deepen our level of understanding about eating disorders through consistent, thorough and effective communication.
In this section of the NEDC website, you will find information on how to communicate about eating disorders, including key messages, target audiences, communication barriers and communicating about obesity and eating disorders.
Visit communicating about eating disorders for guidelines on reporting on eating disorders.