Just about any organization would accept a 150% growth rate on any variable over the span of a year. As National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 26 to March 4) opens, organizers of the 2017 campaign are projecting a possible jump from around 40,000 individuals screened during last year's event to more than 100,000 this year.
NEDA spokesperson Kelly Williams attributes the projected increase in participation to several factors, including sizeable spending on Facebook ads, the engagement and personal story of campaign spokesperson and recording artist Kesha, and the addition of new partner organizations in the effort. The brief online screening is available via NEDA's website.
“It's time to talk about it, get beyond the stigma and stereotypes and recognize the diverse faces and experiences of people affected by disordered eating,” Claire Mysko, NEDA's CEO, said in a news release. NEDA this year is emphasizing an effort to shatter myths about eating disorders and to encourage early intervention.
Highlighting the intersection of eating disorders and other behavioral health diagnoses, NEDA states that up to 35% of individuals with a substance abuse history have also had an eating disorder. Moreover, more than 9 in 10 individuals with bulimia and nearly 8 in 10 with binge eating disorder meet criteria for another psychiatric diagnosis.