One in five people between the agest of 15 and 24 with an eating disorder die. That’s why a group of people from the West Portsmouth Community of Christ, came together Saturday at the West Portsmouth Youth Sports Complex (The Complex) to educate people about this very real disease by holding an Eating Disorders Awareness Benefit.
“The importance of doing this is to save lives,” Vicki Crabtree, whose 13 year old granddaughter suffers from an eating disorder, said. “There are young people between the ages of 15 and 24, who are dying because of this disorder and they are dying in large part due to suicide and also due to the effects of starvation.”
An eating disorder is any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa).
Crabtree said there are signs parents should look for in their children who may be suffering from an eating disorder.
“Lots of times it starts like they are going on a diet,” Crabtree said. “They act like they’re trying to get healthy. Then, a lot of these girls, and boys as well, are of the Type-A personality – perfectionists, the one that has to have straight As in school and has to be the best at everything they do, so they start eliminating a few things, like fats, sugar, and all carbohydrates. “They eliminate until they get down to eating nothing. Our little girl got down to lettuce. Then she totally and completely quit eating and drinking.”
People picked up pamphlets and asked questions and were given information about the disease.
“National Eating Disorders Awareness Week begins next week, the (Feb.) 21st through the 27th,” Luanne Day of the West Portsmouth Community of Christ said. “This event is to promote awareness. We’ve got pamphlets and literature to provide to people and information on how to contact NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association), as well as some free cookies and a raffle is going on, so we’ve got a little bit of everything.”
The NEDA website is nationaleatingdisorders.org.
The event began at noon and lasted until 4 p.m.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.