‘Where to Draw the Line’ on Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs Feb. 23 through March 1. This year’s theme is “I Had No Idea: Food Issues, Emotional Eating & Eating Disorders . . . Where to Draw the Line?”

The purpose of the annual event, sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association and now in its 27th year, is to bring public attention and support to the needs of those with eating disorders and their families. The events and initiatives of this week are meant to bring people together in communities across the country in raising awareness about the severity of eating disorders, which are bio-psycho-social illnesses. The signs may be hard to recognize but can be life-threatening.

There will be lots of events going on next week across the country. In and around Washington, D.C., there will be a few events open to the public. If you can’t attend any of the events listed below and want to find out more information about eating disorders, organizers will be hosting several webinars addressing a variety of issue surrounding eating disorders. Participants can sign up at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. Below is a selection of events where you can learn more about eating disorders.

Presentation – Hungry for What? Empowerment Against Disordered Eating: Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

American University’s School of International Service, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Founders Room. Join Rock Recovery and AU’s Active Minds chapter for Hungry for What?, an eye-opening presentation that de-mystifies and de-stigmatizes the issue of disordered eating by uncovering its true nature and causes. A $10 donation is suggested which will be donated to Rock Recovery’s programs in the D.C. community and nationwide. For more information, visit www.rockrecoveryed.org, or call 571-255-9906.

The Great Jeans Giveaway: Monday, Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Kogan Plaza, 2121 I St. N.W. Hosted by Students Promoting Eating Disorder Awareness and Knowledge of George Washington University (SPEAK GW), this event is designed to persuade the public to think twice about trying to change our bodies to fit fashion trends and unattainable standards of beauty. Volunteers will be collecting gently used denim that will be donated to local charities.

Screening – “Someday Melissa”: Thursday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

George Mason University, Johnson Center Cinema, 4400 University Drive. Screening of “Someday Melissa: The Story of an Eating Disorder, Loss and Hope,” a documentary by filmmaker Judy Avrin, who was inspired by the journal writings of her daughter Melissa, who lost her life to an eating disorder. For more information, contact Tracy McClair at csab@icpnyc.org

Inaugural Fairfax NEDA Walk, themed NEDA Walk. Save a Life. Saturday, March 1, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Registration/check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.)

George Mason University, Johnson Center North Plaza, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA NEDA invites friends and family to help spread awareness of the seriousness of eating disorders so more people will receive the help they or their loved ones so desperately need. . For more information, contact Jordan White at jwhite17@masonlive.gmu.edu or 908-675-7613. To pre-register, visit www.nedawalks.org/fairfaxva2014 or call 212-575-6200. $25 per adult, $15 per student, $10 per child under 12, $5 per pet.

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