Posts Tagged ‘Advocacy’

Episode 24: Eating Disorder Advocacy with Kitty Westin

Kitty Westin and President Barack Obama

Episode description:

Kitty Westin is an internationally known advocate for those with eating disorders. Since losing her daughter Anna to anorexia in 2000, she has worked tirelessly and tenaciously to improve access to eating disorder care.

In this episode Kitty reflects on two decades of advocacy, including her role in creating treatment centers, a non-profit organization, and the historic Anna Westin Act, the first eating disorders legislation passed into federal law. Honoring Anna’s spirit throughout, she encourages others to voice their own experiences to create change.

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The 2010s: A Decade in Review

Highlights of the decade

At The Emily Program we spend a lot of time looking ahead. To hope and healing. To expanded access to care for people with eating disorders. To advanced awareness, education, and treatment. Our vision is a future of peaceful relationships with food, weight, and body, where anyone affected by an eating disorder can experience full, lifelong recovery.

As we work to heal the future, we also acknowledge the past and present. We accept where we are and where we’ve been, both as an organization and a culture at large. We pause and we reflect so that we can move forward with greater clarity, knowledge, and compassion.

To that end, we are using the start of this new decade to reflect on the previous decade in the world of eating disorders. The 2010s witnessed changes in the fields of eating disorder awareness, research, and care, as well as the culture surrounding them.

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Weight Stigma Awareness Week

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September 23-27, 2019 marks Weight Stigma Awareness Week (#WSAW2019). The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) started Weight Stigma Awareness Week to help the entire eating disorder community understand why weight stigma should matter to everyone, not just those in higher-weight bodies. 

What is Weight Stigma?

Weight stigma is the judgment and assumption that a person’s weight reflects their personality, character, or lifestyle. For example, the common stereotype that people in larger bodies are lazy is an example of weight stigma. Weight stigma also plays out in other ways, such as a lack of proper accommodation for larger bodies on airplanes or in public seating spaces. 

Not only is weight stigma a cruel form of bullying, but it is also inaccurate. Medical studies and scientific evidence have shown that all body sizes can be healthy. Read our blog about body diversity to learn more about why health isn’t size-specific. 

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How Healthcare Providers can Identify Eating Disorders in Non-White Patients

Woman using computer on couch

Eating disorders have stereotypically been associated with slim, white, young, heterosexual women. In reality, eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of how they identify. Eating disorders are brain-based biological illnesses that have complex causes and require specialized care. However, the stereotypical misconception of someone with an eating disorder has serious ramifications on who is diagnosed and continues on to receive proper treatment.

Consequences of the Thin, White Woman Stereotype

Historically, there has been a misconception that eating disorders affect only thin, young, white females. Advocate Claire Mysko says, “This early assumption that eating disorders primarily affect young, affluent white women was based on the research that was conducted on young, affluent, white women.” This research conducted on only white women led people to believe eating disorders were only a white woman’s disease. Despite most providers now knowing that this is false, the initial belief had serious implications for eating disorder treatment today.

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When is my Child Ready to get Help?

Teenage Boy Looking out Window

For parents who are concerned that their child has an eating disorder, it can be hard to know when they’re ready for treatment or if they even need treatment. At The Emily Program, we have experience working with thousands of clients and families, all at different points in their recovery. From this work, we understand the importance of properly addressing your child if there is a concern about their eating and food behaviors.

How do I know if my child needs help?

Eating disorders are complex and insidious, so it’s often challenging for parents to know what is truly going on. In order to determine if your child is struggling with eating disorder behaviors, we suggest answering these questions.

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Announcing Peace Meal, an Emily Program Podcast

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The Emily Program is thrilled to announce our new podcast Peace Meal. Peace Meal covers topics related to eating disorders, body image issues, and how society may contribute to distorted thinking. Join host Claire Holtz as she sits down with eating disorder field leaders, medical professionals, and those in recovery to shed a light on eating disorders, body-related biases, and so much more! New episodes are out the first Monday of every month.

Our first mini-episode, Introducing Peace Meal, is out NOW! On this episode of Peace Meal, we talk to The Emily Program founder Dirk Miller. Dirk shares how his recovery from alcoholism and bulimia set him on a mission to help others who are struggling.

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