It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week (24 February – 2 March 2014), which aims to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders, challenge stereotypes and stigma, and raise funds for Beat (which provides support to people with eating disorders, as well as their family and friends).
The fundraising campaign during Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Sock it to Eating Disorders. It offers the chance for friends, family or work colleagues to get together wear their silliest socks, have fun and raise vital funds for Beat.
The importance of acting swiftly
If timely treatment is sought for eating disorders, it is possible for sufferers to return to a normal, fulfilling life. However, if left untreated, eating disorders may compromise a person’s ability to function at work and can result in irreversible physical damage to the body.
Unfortunately, eating disorders are typically not diagnosed until the disease has reached an advanced stage, mainly because sufferers will often go to great lengths to keep their condition from friends and colleagues, by which time treatment is often lengthy and expensive. As with many other conditions, prevention is better than cure, so promoting good physical and mental health at work (e.g. health promotion initiatives) and raising awareness of eating disorders may help prevent eating disorders going unnoticed.
Our blog (originally posted in February 2012) offers a summary of some of the main types of eating disorders and why they might come about. Or for more general information about looking after the health at staff, see the resources on the Health for Work Adviceline website and knowledge base.