World Eating Disorders Action Day Date in the current year: June 2, 2024

World Eating Disorders Action Day World Eating Disorders Action Day, formerly known as World Eating Disorders Day, is observed annually on June 2. It was created to raise public awareness about eating disorders and combat associated stigma.

Eating disorders are mental disorders defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a persons physical and/or mental health. The two most widely known and deadliest eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and resorting to extreme measures to stay thin, and bulimia nervosa, characterized by binge eating followed by purging.

Eating disorders that are less well known include binge eating disorder, consisting of episodes of uncontrollable consumption of an excessive amount of food; rumination syndrome (merycism), where people regurgitate undigested food after eating; pica, characterized by an appetite for non-food items; avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), in which people eat only certain foods they deem “safe”; orthorexia nervosa, characterized by an obsessive focus on eating healthy foods; and many others. Some of them are specified in ICD-10 and DSM-5, while others are not, but the latter are still recognized by most mental health specialists.

The exact causes of eating disorders are unclear. It is believed that their development is caused by biological and environmental factors. The former include a genetic predisposition, pre-existing mental disorders (depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, etc.), and gastrointestinal disorders. Environmental factors that contribute to the development of eating disorders include parental influence, peer pressure, cultural pressure, social isolation, and child abuse.

Eating disorders can affect people regardless of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, body shape and weight, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. Contrary to a popular misconception, people with eating disorders aren’t necessarily obese or sickly thin; they may look healthy and still have abnormal eating habits that heavily affect their lives.

Untreated eating disorders can cause severe medical complications and even drive a person to suicide. That is why it is so important to combat stigma associated with this type of mental disorders and to encourage people who suspect they have an eating disorder to seek professional help. With most eating disorders, it is possible to fully recover or at least achieve a stable remission, but it is much harder without early detection and intervention.

World Eating Disorders Action Day was launched to bring together people with eating disorders, their families, friends and caregivers, healthcare professionals, activists, and organizations to raise global awareness of eating disorders, dispel stereotypes, combat stigma, and encourage people with eating disorders to overcome shame and seek help.

World Eating Disorders Action Day events are held by over 200 organizations in more than 50 countries. In addition, people who are overcoming or have overcome eating disorders on social media share their treatment experience on social media.

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