Eating disorders hit young people and we must talk about it


GOLDEN VALLEY, Minnesota – Every 62 minutes, someone in this country is dying of a eating disorder.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins on February 25th. And at present, the number of youth diagnoses is increasing.

Jamie Nordby was one of them.

When Jamie was 6, she put on a costume for a dance recital and worried.

"Immediately, even at this age, I worry about what I was going to have, I'm not like other girls, I'm going to have a different look on stage," recalls Nordby.

This concern remained with her, slowly becoming something more sinister, by the time she joined the basketball team at the age of 10.

"I had a hard fall in basketball and my coach said," It's a good thing you have a cushion "and I thought:" It's supposed to make me feel better and it does not work, "and it escaped:" Maybe I should change that, "said Nordby.

"Maybe I should change that."

At age 10, this marked the unofficial start.

"It really starts young. People do not think that little kids think about it, but they do, "said Nordby.

People may not know it, but those who work in the area of ​​prevention and awareness of eating disorders know exactly where it begins.

"I am the parent of a 7 year old and I can easily see the mind of 5 and 6 year olds, the 7 year old, how much they compare to those of others." is something research shows again and again, "said Lisa Radzak, executive director of WithAll, a nonprofit organization that works for the prevention of eating disorders.

Jamie was 12, the average age of diagnosis, when she first received treatment.

She remembers what she was doing.

"Make your bag, but do not put anything in it. Do not eat hot, say that you have eaten before or that you went home and worked before my parents came home, and when they came home, they said I will work , as I have not done yet today, and that I take back exercises Little lies that do not seem to be a big problem that parents do not notice or do not want to notice because they do not know not how to approach it, "said Nordby.

And the reason she talks about it now, telling these old secrets, is to dismantle the power of a eating disorder.

"Talking about it takes away the secret. My eating disorder, and I think that all eating disorders or any addiction, thrives through secrecy, "said Nordby.

If you want to take a look at positive language to use with children or students, check out this WithAll website.

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