National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

News Release
For Immediate Release: 2/23/2023

Alycia Davis, (402) 471-1449,

Lincoln – Nebraska's Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), part of The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), observes National Eating Disorders Awareness Week during the last week in February. This week is meant to spread awareness of the resources that are available to those affected and educate the public about eating disorders to provide hope, support, and visibility to these individuals and their families.

“Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or body size," said Tony Green, Interim Director of The Division of Behavioral Health. “It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and talk to your physician or a health care professional if signs are being observed in yourself, a friend, or a family member."

Eating disorders are not a lifestyle choice, they are a mental health challenge that affects people's eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. Three of the most commonly diagnosed eating disorders include binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, here are some signs and symptoms of eating disorders:

  • Extremely restricted eating or intense fear of gaining weight.
  • Distorted body image, or self-esteem that is heavily influenced by perceptions of body weight and shape.
  • Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth.
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating habits.
  • Dramatic or sudden weight gain or loss.
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues with no other known cause.

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs or symptoms of an eating disorder, reach out to a physician or another health care professional. A healthcare professional can help you create a personalized treatment plan and recommend resources or therapists that are available to help individuals with an eating disorder. There is help, there is hope, and recovery is possible.

Becoming more aware of eating disorders can help destigmatize the condition. Spreading information and educating the public about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders can lead to individuals with eating disorders getting the help they need sooner because more people will be informed and recognize the warning signs earlier.

Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:

  • The Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; call, text, or chat 988
  • Your faith-based leader, your healthcare professional, or your student health center on campus.
  • Nebraska Family Helpline – Any question, any time. (888) 866-8660
  • Rural Response Hotline, (800) 464-0258
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 (oprime dos para Español) or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
  • National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4AChild (1-800-422-4453) or text 1-800-422-4453
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

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